Boston Red Sox reliever Brad Ziegler felt his location was good in the eighth inning, just not as good as the Yankees'.
New York rallied from a 2-1 deficit with three runs in the eighth to beat the Red Sox 4-2 on Thursday night, taking two of three in the series and sending Alex Rodriguez out of Boston with one last victory.
Rodriguez was 0 for 4, but did get an RBI on a dribbler off Ziegler with the bases loaded to cap the eighth-inning rally. New York had four hits in the inning against Ziegler, including a double by Jacoby Ellsbury with the bases loaded for two runs that put the Yankees up 3-2.
"I felt like I made a couple pretty good pitches. The one Ellsbury hit wasn't even a strike," Ziegler said. "Made a good pitch to A-Rod and got just a little tapper in front of the plate. That's a pitch a lot of times guys swing and miss or if they do hit it they hit it a little harder than that."
Ellsbury had already deflated the mood at Fenway Park with his fly ball to left that Boston rookie Andrew Benintendi misplayed and lost in the lights.
"It went in the lights, but that's no excuse. I should have caught it," Benintendi said. "I tried to put my glove up where I thought it was going to be."
Ellsbury, the former Boston outfielder who was booed almost as loudly as Rodriguez, was initially credited with a sacrifice fly and Benintendi charged with an error. The official scoring was changed after the game, giving Ellsbury a two-run double before Rodriguez added a little more pain for the frustrated fans.
Rodriguez is set to play his final game for New York on Friday night at Yankee Stadium against Tampa Bay. The slumping 41-year-old will then be released and become an adviser and instructor for the team.
Rodriguez lined out, popped out and struck out before his tapper in front of the plate in the eighth allowed Brett Gardner to score from third and put New York up 4-2.
"He just hit it in a spot where we couldn't do anything about the guy at third," Ziegler said.
In 1994, Rodriguez was a teenager with Seattle when he got an infield single at Fenway Park for his first major league hit.
The RBI for Rodriguez came after the Red Sox intentionally walked Chase Headley with one out.
Dellin Betances earned his third save, striking out Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts with runners at the corners to end it.
Luis Cessa (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings. Brad Ziegler (0-3) got the loss.
Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez gave up one run and three hits in seven innings.
Hanley Ramirez drove in both runs for Boston with a single in the first and an RBI double in the fifth off Michael Pineda.
Ramirez later was knocked down in a collision by Gary Sanchez while trying to field a bounced throw at first base. Ramirez was checked by a trainer and stayed in the game.
Rodriguez was pleased to have the RBI to remember rather than going 0 for 4 in his final game of the AL East rivalry. He said Boston fans treated him just as he expected to and he wasn't leaving Fenway Park with any grudges.
"They're passionate fans. They love their team," he said.
Yankees: RHP Nathan Eovaldi had an MRI on his pitching elbow and was evaluated by team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad. The Yankees did not disclose the results but did say Eovaldi will seek a second opinion. "Until we have that second opinion, we're not going to release anything," manager Joe Girardi said.
Red Sox: OF Mookie Betts was out of the starting lineup after leaving Wednesday night's game early with tightness in his right calf. Manager John Farrell said Betts' calf was still sore and he needed a night off.
Yankees: LHP C.C. Sabathia (6-9, 4.18 ERA) starts as the Yankees return to New York for a weekend series against Tampa Bay. RHP Chris Archer (6-15, 4.26) is scheduled to start for the Rays.
Red Sox: LHP David Price (9-8, 4.34) tries again to snap out of a slump when Boston opens a three-game series at home against Arizona. Price has lost his last two decisions and hasn't won since July 10. LHP Patrick Corbin (4-11, 5.37) starts for the Diamondbacks.