Red Sox

Red Sox top Yanks, 6-5, in 19-inning marathon

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Red Sox top Yanks, 6-5, in 19-inning marathon

NEW YORK - The talk pregame was that the Red Sox and Yankee rivalry had lost its steam, but you wouldn't know it by their first meeting of the season Friday night.

In a classic marathon that saw two lead changes from the 16th inning on, Mookie Betts lofted a sacrifice fly to center in the top of the 19th inning that scored Xander Bogaerts and gave the Sox a 6-5 win in a game that they had appeared to win on three occasions.

At 6:49, it was longest game (by time) in Red Sox history.

Steven Wright, who pitched the final five innings and twice coughed up the lead, got the win.

Pablo Sandoval's single to center - his fourth hit of the night - scored Dustin Pedroia from third in the 16th. Pedroia had been hit by a pitch leading off the inning and took third on a single by Hanley Ramirez.

But for the second time in three innings, the Yankees answered with doubles from Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran off Wright, producing the tying run in the bottom of the 18th.

Earlier, David Ortiz had put the Red Sox ahead in the top of the 16th with a solo homer to right on an 0 and 2 pitch off Esmil Rogers and the Sox seemed headed for victory.

But in the bottom of the 16th, Mark Teixeira homered off Wright to match Ortiz and send the game further into morning. Wright, however, hung in and picked up the victory.

The Sox had every reason to believe they had won the game more than four hours earlier, but down to their last out, the Yankees got a game-tying homer from Chase Headley in the ninth off Edward Mujica, filling the closer's spot for the injured Koji Uehara.

The Red Sox had raced out to a 3-0 lead, but saw the Yankees chip away with two runs in the sixth and another in the ninth.

Daniel Nava delivered a two-run single in the sixth. Nava reached base three times (two hits, hit batsman).

Wade Miley, making his first start for the Red Sox, retired the 10 batters he faced, but suddenly ran out of gas in the sixth when the Yankees scored twice. He left after 5 1/3 innings, charged with two runs on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts.

The Sox had taken a 1-0 lead in the first on a run-scoring single to center from Sandoval.

Alex Rodriguez singled home the first New York run off Miley in the sixth. Brian McCann added a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to produce the second. 

Craig Kimbrel rejects qualifying offer, will enter free agency

Craig Kimbrel rejects qualifying offer, will enter free agency

To the surprise of almost no one, Craig Kimbrel rejected his $17.9 million qualifrying offer from the Red Sox and will test the free agent market for a bigger contract. 

Kimbrel is reportedly looking for a contract worth around $80 million, and this move will allow the Red Sox to receive a draft pick if Kimbrel signs elsewhere. 

Kimbrel recorded 42 saves for the Red Sox on the way to a World Series championship. However, Kimbrel was shaky in the postseason. He allowed seven earned runs in the playoffs but never lost a game in the ninth. 

Kimbrel may fetch big money this offseason as a big-name closer, so the Red Sox will have to decide whether its worth the long term commitment to retain his services. 

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Joe Kelly hopes to stay with Red Sox for rest of his career

Joe Kelly hopes to stay with Red Sox for rest of his career

Joe Kelly had an up-and-down 2018 season with the Red Sox. 

He started the season strong, solidifying himself as a key set up artist for closer Craig Kimbrel. But then he fell off to the point where Red Sox fans did not know if they could count on him in the postseason. 

Kelly finished the year with a 4.39 ERA, only to become one of the best relievers in baseball during the playoffs. In 11.1 innings, Kelly posted a 1.59 ERA with 16 strikeouts. 

Now, the 30-year old right hander is a free agent due for a considerable pay day. Howwever, Kelly told Jim Rome he doesn't see himself playing anywhere other than Boston. 

I love being apart of the team and the coaching staff we have... Everyone gets along so well and I don’t even feel like a free agent, I still feel like a part of the Boston Red Sox. It's a place I feel like I’m going to be the rest of my career. Free agency is going to be fun to see what teams are interested in me, but hopefully I can be a Red Sox for the rest of my career. 

We don't know if the Red Sox plan to spend the money necessary on Kelly or if Kimbrel's sitation will be the deciding factor in Kelly coming back, but at least we know where the releiver wants to be. 

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