NEW YORK(AP) Waiting well past midnight for a clutch hit - any hit, really -
provided a big one.
Rodriguez broke up an electric pitchers' duel in the 15th inning with his first homer in three weeks, giving the
New York Yankees
a 2-0 victory over the
Boston Red Sox
on Friday night.
''Both teams were remarkable,'' Rodriguez said. ''It was a heavyweight fight, and we were fortunate to have the last hit.''
Once the game entered the 15th it became the longest scoreless matchup between the longtime rivals. Rodriguez's two-out homer
came at 12:42 a.m., off Boston's eighth pitcher,
, who was making his major league debut.
A day after the Yankees bashed Boston and
13-6 in a game that ended testily, New York's A.J. Burnett and
set the tone - then both remained in the dugout for remainder of the 5-hour, 33-minute game with Burnett administering one
of his whipped-cream pies to Rodriguez.
Burnett allowed a leadoff single and five relievers finished the four-hitter in the first Boston-New York game to go into
extra innings scoreless since 1976.
''This would've been a very hard game to lose,'' Yankees manager
said. ''Nobody left. It just shows the importance of the game.''
singled to lead off the 15th against Tazawa (0-1), who was signed out of a Japanese industrial league and called up Friday
cut Smoltz. After two outs, Rodriguez lined a shot into the bullpen in left-center giving New York its 10th walkoff win of
It was Rodriguez's first homer since July 19, his season worst homerless drought of 72 at-bats. He was 1 for 6 before connecting.
''As far as making my major league debut, I'm very happy. I was honored to be in such an important situation,'' Tazawa said
through a translator. ''I wish I could have done a little better.''
The Yankees' fifth straight win touched off a raucous celebration on the field and in the stands as many of the 48,262 fans
at the new ballpark remained as a tense game breezed past midnight.
(3-3) pitched the 15th inning for the win that gave New York a 4 1/2-game lead over Boston in the AL East.
, who have lost four in a row, gave the crowd a scare in the 14th when
hit a high-arcing drive that
caught just in front of the wall in right field, eliciting a collective sigh from the crowd. One batter later,
lined a single to left for the first hit since the 10th inning, touching off a modest ''Let's Go
''It was a tough night offensively,'' Boston manager
said. ''It was a tough night for them, too.''
Jeter came through after going hitless in his first six at-bats and failing in three opportunities with runners on third -
twice against Beckett. Boston's
lazily flied out three times with runners on base and Martinez was 0 for 6. The teams combined to go 0 for 19 with runners
in scoring position.
''It was a really weird night,'' Pedroia said. ''It's not like we're not trying.''
teammates Burnett and Beckett matched zeros, each refusing to bend to All-Star lineups.
On his third try against Boston - matching up against Beckett each time - since signing an $82.5 million, five-year free-agent
deal, Burnett finally proved his value against the Yankees' chief rivals. He gave up 11 runs in his first two starts against
them. On Friday, Burnett walked six but struck out six 7 2-3 innings. Beckett gave up four hits and struck out seven in seven
Beckett has been a stabilizing ace in a Boston rotation missing
to injuries and is now without Smoltz, who was designated for assignment earlier Friday. He walked two and threw 115 pitches,
and played cheerleader from the top step of the dugout right to the end.
also designated LHP
for assignment and claimed infielder
off waivers from Seattle. ... Tawaza bowed to
of the Yankees when he saw his idol during batting practice.