NEW YORK – Stephen Drew hit a tying single off Mariano Rivera with two outs in the ninth inning, then Shane Victorino lined a go-ahead single in the 10th that sent the Boston Red Sox past the New York Yankees 9-8 on Thursday night.
Down to their last strike against Rivera, the Red Sox rallied in the opener of a four-game series loaded with playoff implications.
“Just a character win, a team win,” Boston manager John Farrell said.
New York erased a 7-2 deficit with six runs in the seventh.
The Red Sox won for the 10th time in 12 games and the Yankees had their three-game winning stopped.
Closer Koji Uehara retired all three batters he faced in the 10th inning to earn his 18th save.
Uehara popped up Alex Rodriguez on two pitches before needing 12 to get Lyle Overbay swinging at splitter.
The right-hander then struck out Ichiro Suzuki, who went 1-for-3 and drew a leadoff walk in the Yankees’ big seventh inning, on six pitches to end the game.
“That was a tough one, but all’s well that ends well,” said the 38-year-old Uehara. “At the end I wanted too badly to get Ichiro out and pitches were getting up in the zone.
“But today is done and it’s time to look at tomorrow.”
It was Uehara’s 23rd consecutive game since he last allowed a run on July 6.
In the seventh, Boston reliever Junichi Tazawa took the mound, entering the game with one on and two outs. He surrendered a single and double that drove in a run apiece. After striking out Rodriguez, he gave up a two-run single before striking out Ichiro to end the inning.
Tazawa was on the hook to take the loss, but the Red Sox tied it up against Rivera.
This was the start of an 11-day stretch in which the longtime rivals will face each other seven times. Boston is 8-5 against the Yankees this year.
“We just blew it,” Rivera said.
Astros 3, Athletics 2
In Oakland, Jose Altuve had two hits and drove in a run to back a stellar outing by Brad Peacock and Houston knocked the hosts out of first place in the AL West.
Angels 6, Rays 2
In Anaheim, Collin Cowgill hit a three-run double, one of 11 hits Los Angeles had against reigning AL Cy Young winner David Price through his first 2⅓ innings, and Jerome Williams ended a streak of eight straight losing decisions for the Angels.
Price (8-7) was charged with six runs while striking out six. The three-time All-Star left-hander has lost consecutive starts for the first time since dropping three straight from July 20-Aug. 2, 2011.
Orioles 3, White Sox 1
In Baltimore, Miguel Gonzalez allowed one run over seven innings and the O’s hit three solo home runs.
Adam Jones’ shot in the first inning gave him 30 home runs for the season and 100 RBIs for the first time.
Royals 7, Mariners 6 (13)
In Kansas City, Mike Moustakas homered to lead off the bottom of the 13th for the Royals.
Moustakas homered to right on an 0-2 pitch from Chance Ruffin (0-1), who had not pitched in the majors since 2011.
Billy Butler went 5-for-5, matching his career high in hits for Kansas City. Teammate Emilo Bonifacio went 4-for-6.
The teams combined to use 44 players, including 14 pitchers.
Diamondbacks 4, Giants 2
In San Francisco, Paul Goldschmidt broke out of a slump with two hits and two RBIs to help Arizona beat the Giants.
Martin Prado and Aaron Hill also drove in runs for the Diamondbacks, who won their second straight after losing five of their previous six. Miguel Montero added two hits.
Pablo Sandoval had two hits, including a triple, and drove in a run for San Francisco, which has lost three of four. He had three home runs on Wednesday against San Diego.
Reds 6, Cardinals 2
In Cincinnati, Todd Frazier hit two homers, including the first of the Reds’ three off Lance Lynn, and the hosts recovered from a 16-inning loss by overpowering St. Louis, taking three of four in their final series of the season.
Jay Bruce and Choo Shin-soo also hit solo homers off Lynn (13-10), who lasted five innings.
David Freese homered for the Cardinals, who have lost six of eight.
St. Louis had won the last seven series between them.