It took 5 hours and 50 minutes, seven out of eight available relievers, and every available position player for the Yankees to prevail over the Red Sox in 16 innings Saturday, George A. King III of The New York Post reports.

It also took a clutch, slump-breaking dinger from Matt Holiday. Holliday, who had gone 0-7 since being activated from the ten day disabled list (virus) Friday, took Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel deep in the top of the ninth to even the score at 1-1.

“It’s one of the reasons you play the game,” Holliday said of his 16th long ball of the season, which put the Yankees on the board for the first time in a game that was dominated by lights-out pitching.

Red Sox starter Chris Sale, whose 2.59 ERA is the best among American Leaguers and the third best in the MLB (Scherzer and Kershaw), threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and two walks before he was relieved by Kimbrel with two outs in the eighth.

But the Yankees’ Luis Severino, a third year player whose 3.40 ERA is the best amongst Yankees starters, matched the Sox’ ace frame for frame, allowing one run on four hits and two walks in seven full innings.

Those two walks came back-to-back in the third inning, and were followed by a bases-loading single by the Sox’ Xander Bogaerts, and then by a sac fly from Mitch Moreland, the Sox’ only RBI of the game.

The procession of relievers began in the eighth. Both teams went through seven relievers in the subsequent nine innings. In the tenth, the Red Sox failed to score after their first two batters reached base. The Yankees did the same in the fourteenth.

The Yanks’ bats finally came alive in the top of the sixteenth. Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a double. A single by Chase Headley put runners at the corners for Didi Gregorius, who drove in Ellsbury with a single to center. Catcher Austin Romine followed with a single of his own, scoring Headley. Gary Sanchez scored Gregorious with a sac fly.

Ben Heller set down Dustin Pedroia, Bogaerts, and Moreland in the bottom of the sixteenth to seal the victory for the Yankees.

The first pitch was thrown at 4:05 Eastern; the last one left Heller’s hand at approximately 9:55.

So, the teams had just over 15 hours to rest before the front-end of Sunday’s double header, in which the Yanks’ ace, C.C. Sabathia, allowed just two hits in six scoreless innings. Tyler Clippard and Chad Green each threw shutout innings of their own to set the stage for Aroldis Chapman, who preserved the shutout, picking up his ninth save of the year. Sabathia improved to 8-3, making him the winningest starting pitcher in the Yankees’ rotation (though Michael Pineda went 8-4 before sustaining a UCL tear in his right elbow that will necessitate Tommy John surgery and likely leave him on the DL for the remainder of the season).

The Yankees scored on a homer from Gregorius, a sac fly from Ji-Man Choi (Gregorius scored), and an RBI single from Ronald Torreyes (Clint Frazier scored) on their way to a 3-0 victory in Game 1 of the double header.

The box score was inverted in game 2. The Red Sox cruised to a 3-0 win on the strength of eight shutout innings from starter David Pierce and a scoreless ninth from Craig Kimbrel, who picked up his 24th save. He is now fourth in the MLB in that category. Pierce improved to 5-2 on the year.

The Sox’ runs came on a two-run dinger from Mookie Betts (Christian Vazquez scored and an RBI single from Dustin Pedroia (Betts scored).

Between Saturday’s 16-inning pitchers’ duel and Sunday’s “mirror box-score” double-header, the storied AL East rivals played 34 innings in 31 hours this weekend. When all was said and done, the teams had split the series. The Yankees remain 3.5 games behind the Sox in the division standings. In other words, nothing has changed–except that each team is exhausted.

Both teams continue action tonight: the Red Sox take on the Blue Jays in Toronto, and the Yankees travel to Minnesota to face the twins.

The Yankees will play everyday until July 24th (a week from this Monday). The Sox next day off is July 27 (a week from Thursday).

Both teams will have earned their rest.

Uncategorized