Boston had wasted a five-run lead by the time Pedro Ciriaco stepped to the plate in the ninth inning Saturday night and hit a hard fly ball toward center field. He thought Curtis Granderson would catch it.
Then Granderson went in on the ball and sprinted back in an attempt to catch up.
''I thought I had a chance,'' Ciriaco said, ''so I run like a hurricane.''
The ball landed for a go-ahead triple as Granderson fell, and the Red Sox came away with a dramatic 8-6 win over the New York Yankees after Vicente Padilla allowed a tying, two-run homer in the eighth to nemesis Mark Teixeira.
Adrian Gonzalez had four RBI for the Red Sox, who built a 6-1 lead for Jon Lester.
''We were good tonight, and we were lucky,'' Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. ''He hit that ball, a knuckleball, 380 feet. It's tough to catch. He's pretty hot right now, so I'd say he was good and we were lucky.''
A three-time All-Star, Granderson had expected to make the catch.
''I didn't think it was hit as hard as it was,'' he said. ''And, by the time I tried to get back on it, I couldn't get enough steam to get back to it.''
Jacoby Ellsbury's one-out walk off Rafael Soriano (2-1) preceded the hit by Ciriaco, who boosted the lead to two runs when he scored on Dustin Pedroia's sacrifice fly.
Playing designated hitter while David Ortiz is on the disabled list, the 26-year-old Ciriaco had three hits to raise his average to .356 in 59 at-bats. He also had the go-ahead hit in Boston's only other win over the Yankees in eight tries this year, a two-run double off Phil Hughes in the second game of a doubleheader at Fenway Park on July 7.
''He just comes in and plays, has good at-bats, runs the bases well,'' Valentine said. ''Makes us a better team.''