David Ortiz swung the bat, rounded the bases, hugged some kids, and won the game. All in a day's work.
When the Yankees get into the late innings with a lead, they're supposed to keep it. In this division, that's true for many teams, but for New York perhaps most of all, even with Aroldis Chapman missing for the moment. And with Masahiro Tanaka on the mound, the Yankees were certainly favored to do just that.
I guess it depends on your definition of "late." The Yankees certainly did take the lead into the seventh inning. Henry Owens was...not great tonight. His line in the box score will come away looking pretty damn good, but it was a constant battle for him on the mound. He didn't have his fastball at all, and it led to danger. The first inning saw Owens escape early trouble with a double play ball, but Alex Rodriguez didn't give the defense a chance when one of those bad fastballs stayed at perfect height for him to crush it into the Monster seats. Owens nearly surrendered another run in the inning when Jackie Bradley let a Starlin Castro line drive get past him, but Castro didn't run out of the gates, removing any chance of an inside-the-park shot, and Brock Holt was able to gun him down at home when he tried to score on a Chase Headley fly ball.
But Owens, with Hanigan's guidance, turned to his off-speed stuff and managed to survive, getting another double play to keep what could have been a disastrous fifth inning under control, allowing just the one run on three hits and a hit batter. And that kept the Red Sox within striking distance of New York, even as Tanaka was making it seem like one run would be enough for a Yankees win, let alone two.
Then came the seventh. The Yankees had the lead, Tanaka was well under 100 pitches, and the Red Sox were into the bottom half of their lineup with one down, albeit on a pretty good bit of contact from Hanley Ramirez. Up came Travis Shaw to the plate. His hit would be the one that started to turn the tides, but it didn't feel like much--a ground ball that just followed the third base line into left field. Brock Holt didn't look all that much more impressive, but found the gap between second and third all the same.
It wasn't enough to shake the faith in Tanaka, and really, it shouldn't have been. He came within one out of the eighth by striking out Ryan Hanigan, but then, out of nowhere, Jackie Bradley Jr. jumped on a first-pitch splitter and smacked it off the Monster. And regardless of how they got on base, Holt and Shaw were both able to score, knotting the game at two-all and undoing a night of frustration for Boston's lineup.
Matt Barnes had brought the Red Sox through the top of the seventh with relative ease, and handed the ball over to Koji Uehara, who had no trouble retiring the Yankees in order. But now it was Dellin Betances in the game, he of the K/9 over 20. But when he didn't strike Xander Bogaerts out, the shortstop's ground ball eluded the barehand attempt of Starlin Castro, bringing David Ortiz to the plate with one down and one on.
And, as you may remember, David Ortiz swung the bat, rounded the bases, hugged some kids, and won the game. Betances offered him a first-pitch curveball, and David Ortiz didn't let it get by him, sending a rocket into the Monster seats, rounding the bases behind Xander Bogaerts to make it 4-2, grabbed Kevin Millar's three kids in a big hug by the dugout, and won the Red Sox the game, with Craig Kimbrel sealing the deal with a quick ninth.
This was the game the Red Sox were probably supposed to lose. Much like Chacin vs. Buchholz, Tanaka vs. Owens seemed enough of a mismatch to overcome the difference in the quality of the lineups. But Owens survived, Bradley came up big yet again, and Ortiz provided the finishing blow as he has done so many times before against the Yankees.
Never retire, Papi. Never, ever retire.