NEW YORK — The Red Sox were down to their final out against Mariano Rivera and the bases were empty in the ninth inning Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.
The percentages said the game would soon be over. But these Red Sox have been defying expectations for so long this season that even the great Rivera couldn’t stop them.
Stephen Drew’s single sent the game into extra innings and the Red Sox rolled on, beating the Yankees, 9-8, before a stunned crowd of 40,481.
The Rays were beaten by the Angels, 6-2, the Sox increasing their lead in the AL East to 6½ games, their largest of the season.Shane Victorino drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning with a single off Joba Chamberlain. The Sox have won three straight, six of seven, and 10 of their last 12 games.
“That’s why you keep playing,” David Ortiz said. “You never know what’s going to happen.”
The third-place Yankees now trail the Sox by nine games with only six games left between the teams. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.