- Last Updated: 12:01 PM, October 3, 2010
- Posted: 2:26 AM, October 3, 2010
Six outs away from putting their AL East title hopes in their own hands, the Yankees need to beat the Red Sox today when Dustin Moseley opposes John Lackey and the Royals to top the Rays in Kansas City to cop the East and open the ALDS against the Rangers at home Wednesday.
Instead, Royce Ring and Ivan Nova combined to flush a late two-run lead on the way to a 7-6, 10-inning loss to the Red Sox in the second game of a marathon doubleheader at Fenway Park.
If the Yankees don't finish ahead of the Rays who hold the tiebreaker, they will start the ALDS against the Twins in Minnesota Wednesday.
The Yankees overcame a pedestrian outing by Andy Pettitte to win the opener, 6-5, in 10 innings.
Leading, 6-4, in the eighth against a Triple-A lineup in the nightcap, Nova issued a bases-loaded walk to Kevin Cash, a .140 hitter, in the eighth to force in the tying run. After replacing Ring with two runners on and no one out in that frame, Nova gave up an RBI single to Daniel Nava that made it 6-5.
In the 10th inning, Nova allowed a leadoff double to Bill Hall of the Green Monster. After Cash bunted Hall to third, Eric Patterson singled up the middle to drive in the game-winner.
"I am proud of how hard we played tonight," Girardi said. "We never gave up. We have been at it since 4 o'clock and it's 1:30 in the morning and there wasn't a lot of time in between [games]."
The two extra-inning games took a combined eight hours and 18 minutes to complete.
With much of the focus going into the nightcap on what A.J. Burnett's role in the ALDS will be, Girardi and the pitcher believed there was improvement from the previous outing when he was spanked by the Blue Jays.
"He was better, that's for sure," Girardi said of the right-hander who gave up four runs (two earned), six hits, walked two and hit two in six innings. "You look at the breaking ball, the fastball and the change-up and I thought it was better."
So did Burnett, who watched his first victory since Sept. 1 get flushed in the eighth.
"I felt a lot better, I didn't let anything bother me," said Burnett, whose fourth-inning throwing error home led to a run. The Yankees made four errors; two by catcher Francisco Cervelli. "As far as my focus and able to correct things, it was better tonight."
Burnett finished the season with 19 hit batters. That's the second most in club history. Jack Warhop drilled 26 in 1909.
Nova issued a bases-loaded walk to Kevin Cash, a .140 hitter, in the eighth to force in the tying run. After replacing Ring with two runners on, Nova gave up an RBI single to Daniel Nava.Follow @NYPostsports