NEW YORK (AP) — Jeremy Hermida hit a tiebreaking, two-run double off Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning and the Boston Red Sox took advantage of two late errors to rally from five runs down and beat the New York Yankees 7-6 Tuesday night.
New York played the game under protest after beleaguered Boston ace Josh Beckett left with back tightness following Robinson Cano's two-run double in the fifth that made it 5-0.
The Yankees claimed there was no indication of an injury to Beckett by that point, but reliever Manny Delcarmen was given all the time he needed to warm up on a wet and chilly night.
Beckett missed his previous turn in the rotation due to back spasms.
An error by right fielder Marcus Thames, who hit the game-winning homer Monday night off All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon, helped the Red Sox go ahead in the ninth.
Papelbon closed this one out after midnight, however, fanning Randy Winn with runners at second and third to end it. At 4 hours, 9 minutes, it was the longest nine-inning game in the majors this season, according to STATS LLC. And that didn't include the 59-minute rain delay at the start.
"I was hoping all night long I would get another chance," Papelbon said. "It's a heavyweight fight. They might get one good blow in but they're not going to knock me down."
Thames dropped Marco Scutaro's wind-whipped fly with one out in the ninth, putting runners on first and second. One out later, Hermida hit a liner over Winn's head in left to put Boston ahead 7-5.
It was the second straight stumble for Rivera (0-1), who gave up a go-ahead grand slam to Minnesota's Jason Kubel on Sunday after converting 51 straight save chances at home.
Scutaro booted Alex Rodriguez's leadoff grounder to shortstop in the bottom of the ninth for his second error of the game, and Cano made it 7-6 with an RBI double.
But Papelbon recovered to get three tough outs and earn his 10th save, one night after blowing a two-run lead in the ninth when Rodriguez and Thames each hit a two-run homer to give New York a wild 11-9 victory.
Papelbon threw up and in on Thames before walking him to put runners on first and third with one out. The right-hander then made a quick stab of Juan Miranda's sharp grounder back to the mound and struck out Winn.
Daniel Bard (1-1) got one out for the victory.
The game was played in damp conditions on a slick field, but it was a much-needed win for Boston, which at 20-20 is off to its worst start since 1997. The Red Sox improved to 3-5 against New York.
Scutaro, whose two errors led to three runs, also reached on a throwing error by Rodriguez at third to start a four-run rally against Joba Chamberlain in the eighth.
With the Red Sox trailing 5-1, Scutaro went to second on Dustin Pedroia's single. J.D. Drew hit an RBI double and Kevin Youkilis blooped a two-run single before Chamberlain got an out.
David Ortiz tied it with a single off the right-center fence but paused to admire his shot, thinking it was gone. He was thrown out at second by center fielder Brett Gardner's strong throw.
Yankee Stadium was a little more than half full for the start, and the surly crowd that withstood the dreary night as blustery as one of these teams' many October matchups lustily booed Chamberlain as he left the mound having blown a 5-1 lead for CC Sabathia.
Boston's bullpen pitched 4 1-3 innings of relief after Beckett left with two outs in the fifth with tightness in his back.
NOTES: Yankees RF Nick Swisher took swings off a tee batting left-handed and said he felt great but was out of the lineup for the third straight day with left biceps soreness. He'll take BP Wednesday before the Yankees decide if he'll play against Tampa Bay. ... Red Sox manager Terry Francona said OF Mike Cameron (abdomen) did not rejoin the team Monday or Tuesday because his body was sore and it was not injury related. He worked out at Fenway Park. ... Yankees DH Nick Johnson had surgery on his right hand.