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Mookie Betts thinks a little bit of generosity is paying off in powerful ways.
Betts homered twice, a night after Blake Swihart connected two times, and attributed their sudden powerl surge to giving away their leftover dinners.
Betts' two drives Wednesday helped the Boston Red Sox rally for a 9-5 win over the Yankees, delaying New York from clinching its first playoff berth in three years.
"Me and Blake, yesterday, we got to eat, and had (a piece of pizza) left and he said the night before, he had given it to a homeless guy and he hit two home runs," Betts said. "So, I had a pizza. So, I gave it to a homeless guy and hit two home runs, so maybe, pass it on to the next person."
Just like Tuesday, the Red Sox raced out to an early lead, going up 3-0 in the first against Masahiro Tanaka on Travis Shaw's home run. But this time the Yankees came back and took a lead on Alex Rodriguez's first homer in two weeks, a solo drive off Wade Miley in the sixth.
Betts connected against All-Star setup man Dellin Betances with two outs in the seventh to make it 5-all.
The Yankees had 11 walks, including four in the eighth - when leadoff batter Jacoby Ellsbury was picked off first - but Boston's bullpen shut down New York.
Then the Red Sox closed out their season-high sixth straight win, with Betts capping the victory with a two-run home off Chasen Shreve.
"We hung in there through a lot of different circumstances to hold off that celebration," interim manager Torey Lovullo said. "It wasn't our only motivation. We want to win as many games as we can, we've been playing really good baseball."
Shreve also yielded a run-scoring sacrifice to Jackie Bradley Jr. Andrew Bailey (0-1) gave up an RBI single to Deven Marrero with one out in the 11th.
"That was all Jackie's idea, absolutely," Lovullo said. "We all tried to talk him out of it, but I could see that look in his eyes that he was very determined to execute and he wanted to do that, he called the play, he called the pitch and he did his job. Those are special moments."
New York, which dropped to 65-3 when leading after six innings, left 15 on base and was 3 for 14 with runners in scoring position.
Tanaka was rusty in his first start in 12 days, returning from a right hamstring strain to make what should be his final tuneup before a likely start in the wild-card game on Tuesday.
The Japanese star entered with a deceptive 3-0 record against Boston. He allowed 10 earned runs in those starts, but the Yankees romped to big wins in each. He had trouble Wednesday, too, allowing four runs and five hits in five innings on 95 pitches.
"He looked rusty," manager Joe Girardi said of Tanaka. "He looked like a guy who hadn't pitched in 12 days."
SLOWING DOWN? NO
David Ortiz's RBI single in the third gave him 105 RBIs, his most since 2007.
Rodriguez's homer gave him 1,065 RBIs with the Yankees, moving him into a tie with Jorge Posada for 11th in club history.
Red Sox: Rusney Castillo (Right quadriceps) was out of the lineup for a third straight game. Lovullo said the leg is still has "soreness and tenderness." ... RHP Steven Wright (concussion) still has some symptoms and has not passed the concussion test. He was examined by a specialist in Pittsburgh on Wednesday but the results of the tests were not yet available. ... 3B Pablo Sandoval (pneumonia) has not played since Sept. 20. He's unlikely to play again this season. "To resume all baseball activities would be very challenging to him," Lovullo said.
Yankees: 2B Stephen Drew (dizziness) went to Pittsburgh to see a concussion specialist. Girardi assumes Drew will be back in New York on Thursday.
Red Sox: Rich Hill is 2-0 in three starts. Has 10 Ks in each of the outings. Hill, who has pitched in parts of 11 big league seasons, pitched briefly this summer for the Long Island Ducks, an independent league team.
Yankees: CC Sabathia (5-10) is 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in four starts since coming off the DL (right knee inflammation) on Sept. 9.
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