NEW YORK — This was no ordinary defeat. Not after 7 hours of back-and-forth baseball against your biggest rival.
In the latest classic matchup of their long and illustrious history, the Boston Red Sox finally outlasted the New York Yankees6-5 in 19 innings early Saturday when the game-ending double play was turned at 2:13 a.m.
“It feels worse than one loss, but thank goodness it’s only one,” Brett Gardner said.
Chase Headley and Mark Teixeira, who turned 35 when the clock struck midnight, hit tying home runs for the Yankees during an early-season epic delayed 16 minutes by a power outage in the 12th. That’s why the official time of game was 6 hours, 49 minutes — even though it took more than 7 hours to complete.
After squandering leads in the ninth, 16th and 18th, Boston at last went ahead for good on a sacrifice fly by Mookie Betts. Xander Bogaerts scored the decisive run after reaching on his fourth hit in extra innings.
The teams get little chance to rest following the first of 19 meetings this year. They’re back at it for the middle game of the series Saturday at 1:05 p.m.
“It’s one game that seemed like about six, and we’ll move on,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
David Ortiz hit a solo homer for Boston to break a 3-all deadlock in the 16th. But then Teixeira, batting from the right side against right-handed knuckleballer Steven Wright, led off the bottom half with a no-doubt drive to left field.
And on it went before a few thousand scattered fans left from the crowd of 41,292.
Pablo Sandoval put the Red Sox back in front with an RBI single in the 18th only to see Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran hit doubles in the bottom half to tie it again at 5.
Each club went to its last reliever in the 15th during the longest game by time in Red Sox history — and second-longest for the Yankees. They had a 22-inning victory at Detroit that took 7 hours in 1962.
It was the longest game by innings for New York since a 19-inning win over Minnesota in August 1976.
“It was just a wonderful game. I wish we would have won, but it was a great game,” Headley said.
The longest game by innings between the old rivals was a 20-inning victory for Boston in the second game of a 1967 doubleheader.
Headley’s solo shot off fill-in closer Edward Mujica came with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Neither team could break through again until Ortiz launched an 0-2 pitch from Esmil Rogers (0-1) to right-center.
Didi Gregorius had a chance to win it for New York in the 16th and 18th, but grounded out with a runner at third to end both innings.
Boston got five innings of relief from Wright (1-0) in a game that featured 17 pitchers who combined to throw 628 pitches.
The Red Sox stranded 20 runners, but came through one last time in the 19th.
Bogaerts singled, stole second and went to third on a passed ball by backup catcher John Ryan Murphy, who had just replaced McCann. Betts delivered a sac fly to center.
It appeared New York might rally yet again in the bottom half when Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a single. Gardner flied out, and Garrett Jones hit a low liner toward the middle. Bogaerts short-hopped the ball at shortstop and flipped to second, where Dustin Pedroia leaped in the air for an athletic relay to first.
“That’s a heck of a play, to be able to pull that off at 2:30 in the morning,” Wright said.
Girardi said Jones, a first baseman and DH who came off the bench in the 11th for hisYankees debut, would have pitched the 20th.
Rogers, who threw 81 pitches after making 35 the previous night, said he would have pushed to stay in the game.
The lights dimmed as Boston reliever Tommy Layne threw the first pitch in the bottom of the 12th to Beltran. Fans groaned and umpires huddled with both managers before going underneath the stands to get information.
It appeared nine or 10 banks of lights went out, many of them behind home plate. After both teams left the field to boos, the lights came back on and play resumed.
The Yankees said they believe there was a power surge throughout the building. The team turned on additional light banks that are normally off above the foul poles as electricians rebooted the bulbs that went dark.
One of several newcomers to the rivalry, Sandoval also had an RBI single for the Red Sox his first time up. And for the first time in two decades, Derek Jeter wasn’t a member of the Yankees when they took on Boston.
“The game doesn’t wait for anyone,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said beforehand. “We’re looking forward to the next chapter.”
SEEN THAT BEFORE
It was Ortiz’s first home run of the year and 50th against the Yankees, including playoff games.
BACK IN THE SADDLE
Alex Rodriguez batted third for New York. He hit an RBI single and a double, and struck out three times.
Yankees: McCann was shaken up in the ninth when a foul ball hit the top of his right kneecap, but he remained in the game for another nine innings.
Red Sox: RHP Joe Kelly (strained biceps) will come off the DL to start Saturday afternoon.
Yankees: RHP Adam Warren, primarily a reliever the last two seasons, is scheduled to make his fourth major league start after winning the final rotation spot during spring training.
MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Baseball Writer