BOSTON (AP) – The AL East race is going down to the final day. The New York Yankees are pinning their hopes on a pitcher who made just eight starts this year. Dustin Moseley was chosen by manager Joe Girardi to start the regular-season finale Sunday against Boston. Andy Pettitte and A.J. Burnett turned in improved performances Saturday as the Yankees split a day-night doubleheader with the Red Sox, winning 6-5 then losing 7-6 in a pair of 10-inning games.
“I’ll try to get home real quick, get some sleep and get back out there,” Moseley said after Eric Patterson’s RBI single in the 10th gave Boston the victory in the nightcap, 9 hours and 7 minutes after the first pitch in the opener.
The loss left the Yankees tied for the AL East lead with the Tampa Bay Rays at 95-66 with one game left. Both teams have clinched playoff berths, but the division title will be decided Sunday.
The Yankees need a victory in Boston and a Rays loss at Kansas City to win the AL East. Every other scenario gives the division crown to Tampa Bay, which beat the Royals 4-0 on Saturday.
“I’m proud of how hard our guys played,” Girardi said. “We’ve been going at it since 4 o’clock and it’s 1 in the morning, and there wasn’t much of a break between the games.”
In the first game, lasting 4:18, Brett Gardner raced home with the go-ahead run on an error by second baseman Bill Hall in the 10th.
Pettitte allowed three runs on nine hits with eight strikeouts and two walks and left after Mike Lowell’s leadoff single in the fifth. In his previous start on Sept. 24 in New York, he allowed six earned runs and 10 hits in 3 1-3 innings of a 10-8 loss. He has made just three starts since spending two months on the disabled list with a strained left groin, but is 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA for the season.
“I would have loved to throw seven shutout innings in both of them, but I didn’t,” Pettitte said. “I felt good. I’m not worried about it now.”
In the second game, lasting 4 hours, Hall led off the 10th with a double against Ivan Nova (1-2), took third on Kevin Cash’s sacrifice and scored on Patterson’s single to center.
Robert Manuel (1-0) got the win with two shutout innings.
“You spend that much time at the ballpark, it’s nice to have a win,” Boston manager Terry Francona said.
The split doubleheader was scheduled after Friday night’s game was postponed by rain following a delay of 3 hours, 23 minutes.
There were plenty of mistakes throughout the second game.
Starting pitchers Burnett and Daisuke Matsuzaka each hit two batters. Burnett and Boston relievers Scott Atchison and Hideki Okajima each threw a wild pitch. The Yankees committed four errors, while the Red Sox had two.
But Burnett, who was 1-7 with a 6.98 ERA in his previous 11 games, allowed just two earned runs and six hits in six innings.
“I definitely felt a lot better,” he said. “I was just letting it go. … I wasn’t nitpicking. I was in attack mode.”
The most glaring gaffe in the nightcap came with New York leading 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth.
Daniel Nava led off the inning with a double before Josh Reddick hit a hard grounder to the right of first baseman Lance Berkman, who bobbled the ball. He picked it up and threw to Burnett, covering the base. Burnett caught the ball, then turned toward third, where Nava had run. But when first base umpire Brian Runge called Reddick safe, Burnett turned his back on Nava and began arguing.
Nava then headed home and, with Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez pointing to the plate, Burnett finally threw the ball – past catcher Francisco Cervelli, allowing Nava to score and cut the lead to 4-3. Berkman and Burnett were charged with errors on the play.
“I probably should have called time,” Burnett said.
Boston tied it at 4 with the help of another error in the sixth. Ryan Kalish singled, stole second and continued to third on Cervelli’s wild throw. He scored on Yamaico Navarro’s sacrifice fly.
In the seventh, Cervelli singled in the go-ahead run and Berkman scored on Okajima’s wild pitch. But the Red Sox tied it at 6 in the eighth on an RBI single by Nava and a bases-loaded walk to Cash.
In the opener, Phil Hughes (18-8) struck out two in a perfect ninth in his second relief outing of the year, keeping the score tied at 5. Yankees pitchers tied a franchise record with 18 strikeouts but issued eight walks.
Jonathan Papelbon (5-7) started the 10th by walking Gardner, who went to second on a sacrifice by Ramiro Pena. Derek Jeter then topped a slow grounder to the right side, just beyond Papelbon’s reach, for a single. Hall tried to field it with his bare hand, but it got by him and Gardner scored the go-ahead run.
“Do or die. It was a tough play,” Francona said. “It got behind him enough.”
Mariano Rivera pitched the 10th for his 33rd save in 38 opportunities.
As the fans left, others waited outside Fenway Park to enter for the second game, which began less than an hour later.
Boston had taken a 2-0 lead in the opener on Lowell’s RBI double. New York took the lead off Tim Wakefield with three runs in the third, capped by Robinson Cano’s solo homer, his 29th of the year. But the Red Sox tied it at 3 in the third on Nava’s RBI single.
The Yankees went ahead 5-3 in the fifth on run-scoring doubles by Mark Teixeira and Cano. Then Boston scored two runs on wild pitches in the seventh and eighth, tying the game.
Notes: Red Sox pitchers struck out 14 and walked seven in the first game. … Gardner stole two bases in the opener and three in the nightcap. … Lowell had a double, walk and single in three plate appearances. Before the game, the Red Sox honored him in a 20-minute ceremony called “Thank You, Mike.” Lowell, a third baseman most of his career who primarily played first this year, is retiring after his 13th season ends Sunday. Francona said he wanted Lowell to go out with a hit so he doesn’t plan to use him Sunday.
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