By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — When the Red Sox stepped to the plate late Sunday night, trailing by three runs and set to face flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman, the odds were not in their favor.

That’s because with the benefit of employing Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances and of course Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees have done a fairly good job of holding on to three-run leads in the ninth inning over the past decade. In fact, the Yankees entered Sunday night with a 483-1 record when entering the ninth inning with a three-run lead over the past 10 years.

Plus, having already won the first three games of the four-game set, there wasn’t a particular sense of urgency for the Boston Red Sox. Not much was riding on this one game, as a victory to stretch the AL East lead to 9.5 games would have been more of a luxury than anything else. There would have been no shame in taking three of four from the Yankees and walking away with a comfortable cushion in the division race.

Nevertheless, the Red Sox put together a fine inning of work against Chapman. Thanks to that effort plus a fortunate break, they were able to plate three runs to tie the game and force extra innings. There, Andrew Benintendi sent a chopper up the middle to drive home pinch runner Tony Renda (making his Red Sox debut). The Red Sox walked off in most-dramatic fashion, and the Yankees departed Boston with a sense of dejection.

Here’s what they had to say about it early Monday morning, at the conclusion of the four-hour-and-39-minute affair.

Alex Cora, on when he started to feel that his team could pull it off …
Before [J.D. Martinez’s two-run single]. We were disciplined enough to stay in the strike zone. We weren’t chasing pitches. [Chapman] made pitches: 3-2 breaking ball to Brock [Holt], and then the 2-2 breaking ball to Benny. But we stayed in the zone throughout the inning.”

Andrew Benintendi, on the team’s approach to facing Chapman. (Benintendi struck out looking at a breaking ball.) …
“Obviously he’s one of the best closers in the game. Just trying to put good at-bats together. He’s tough. He’s a tough at-bat. Obviously he throws really hard and he’s throwing a pretty good slider. Just trying to put good at-bats together and put the ball in play.”

J.D. Martinez, on his approach to swing at the first pitch even after Chapman had walked the bases loaded …
“Chapman’s a guy that, he can throw four balls to the backstop and then come up and then dot four balls right on the corner. So he’s one of those guys. … My plan was to be ready to hit. … If you go up there and take, it’s tough.”

Martinez, on his confidence in facing Chapman (he entered the game 2-for-10 with six strikeouts, but singled against Chapman in May) …
“Statistics show that the more you face [a reliever], the odds start to swing in the hitter’s favor.”

Cora, on his confidence level of his team being able to score three runs against Chapman …
“Yeah we felt we could put good at-bats. He pitched against us the last game in Yankee Stadium, I think we were down 11-0 or whatever it was. Sandy [Leon] put a good at-bat [and doubled]. I know we scored a run against him. And I know it was an 11-0 game, but we saw the at-bats. I mean, he’s still dominant. He’s still one of the best closers in the league. But we feel that we can put good at-bats. And that happened.”

Cora, on the key at-bat in the comeback vs. Chapman …
“Sandy, I think Sandy walked, what, twice? One against [Zach] Britton, then he walked against Chapman. And then Mookie [Betts], aggressive at 3-1, which I don’t mind. Then he walks. The at-bat by Benny was a good one, but he just made a good pitch. We put together a lot of at-bats, good ones, with their bullpen.”

After the Yankees’ win expectancy had reached 96 percent, J.D. Martinez cut New York’s lead to 4-3 with a two-run, two-out single into shallow center field. Xander Bogaerts, who committed a costly two-run error in the top of the seventh, stepped to bat. He hit a chopper behind third base, where Miguel Andujar fielded the ball deep near the outfield grass. Andujar, who had already committed one error, skipped his throw to first base. Greg Bird could not handle the throw, and pinch runner Jackie Bradley Jr. came all the way around from second base to score the tying run.

Matt Barnes pitched a 1-2-3 top of the 10th inning. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Sandy Leon singled into shallow center field. He advanced to second base on a wild pitch, bringing Tony Renda into the game as a pinch runner. After an intentional walk to Mookie Betts, Benintendi stepped to the plate. He chopped a 2-1 fastball back up the middle. Renda came around to score, and the Red Sox won the game.

Benintendi, on his at-bat against Jonathan Holder …
“He threw me, I think he started off with two fastballs. The third one he threw for a strike and then that last one was a fastball up and away. I got on top of it and just kind of rolled it over. Of all the hits that were up the middle that were taken away by the shift, that one finds a way to get through. And thank God it did.”

“That initial hop in front of the plate, it kind of hit hard. They were shifting a little bit, I think Gleyber [Torres] was shifting toward the four-hole a little bit. Once I saw about the second hop, I knew I was going to beat it out. It was just a matter of whether it got into center field or not.”

Benintendi, on the unlikelihood of that type of contact leading to a game-winning hit …
“Any 10-hopper that goes for a hit, but that one right there is pretty good.”

Tony Renda gives a piggy back ride to Joe Kelly after the Red Sox walked off against the Yankees. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Renda, on the experience of scoring the game-winning run for his Red Sox debut (via …
“Pretty surreal. It’s unbelievable. I knew where the defense was playing. I had a feeling they weren’t standing where Benny hit that ball, and as soon as you hear the crowd just go nuts, it’s unbelievable. You just go numb and run as hard as you can. Jackie was telling me, ‘Down, down, down,’ and that’s that. It’s unbelievable.”

Starting pitcher David Price, on watching his teammates mount the comeback …
“This team doesn’t quit, this lineup doesn’t quit. They continue to have good at-bats throughout the night. Very good win.”

Benintendi, on the impact of sweeping the four-game series …
“Everybody knew how big this series was. We came in and did what we wanted to do and kind of stole this one. … We’re just having fun. Nobody’s stressing in here really. We know we have a pretty good team, and when we’re loose is when we play the best. That’s what we try to do.”

Cora, on watching his team complete the dramatic victory …
“They play till the end, they play the game the right way, and they don’t quit. Put some good at-bats, the relievers with Britton, with Betances, then with Chapman. I always feel that we’re one swing away from getting back into games. That was fun to watch.”

The Red Sox are now 79-34, own their largest lead in the AL East since 2013, swept their 11th series of the season (they also have not been swept), and earned their first four-game sweep against a team that was at least 30 games over .500 since 1939.

Martinez, on the team …
“It’s fun. This is a fun team. And it’s a very humble team. I feel like we don’t have any of those egos on this team. It seems like a close group of guys, and guys that like to have fun, guys, you know, we talk crap to each other every day and we keep it loose in here. It’s just, it’s a good time.”

Cora, on the Red Sox …
“They’re playing well. I keep saying, I’m proud of them. They don’t get caught up in the whole thing. They show up every day, they digest the information, they go out there and play, and they go out and win games. They’ve been winning a lot of games.”


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