BOSTON -- Getting the ball out of the infield was not a prerequisite for the Red Sox on Friday night, as the Yankees' porous bullpen sprung another leak, resulting in the club's Major League-leading 18th blown save of the season.
Aroldis Chapman accepted the dubious honors this time, issuing a bases-loaded free pass to Andrew Benintendi as the Red Sox walked off on the Yankees, 5-4. It marked the first time that Boston defeated New York in such fashion since Ted Williams worked a game-winning walk on Aug. 7, 1956.
"I wasn't as sharp as I would like to be," Chapman said through an interpreter. "They hit the ball a couple of times in that inning. My control wasn't there tonight, so it just got complicated in that inning."
Chapman threw just 11 of 23 pitches -- all fastballs -- for strikes, as Boston nudged a pair of runs across in the ninth inning, handing the Yankees their 19th loss in 26 games and knocking New York 4 1/2 games back in the American League East.
"We've put ourselves in some situations to win some games, and we haven't been able to close them out, for whatever reason," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It's not always in the ninth inning; sometimes it's the seventh, sometimes it's the eighth. But you have to win those games. If you want to win championships, you have to win those games."
Chapman generated just one swing and miss out of his 23 pitches, a 98.8-mph fastball he blew past Mookie Betts for strike two. Girardi said that falling into longer counts may be making Chapman too predictable, especially since Chapman declined to mix in his slider or changeup.
"I'm the pitcher, you know," Chapman said. "When I find myself in a situation like that, I've got to decide which type of pitch to use. I personally wanted to go with the fastball."
New York's bullpen turned in excellent work in relief of starter Jordan Montgomery, who labored through four innings while throwing 96 pitches. Chad Green struck out five in two dominant innings, and Adam Warren pitched around a pair of hits in the seventh.
All-Star Dellin Betances struck out the side around a hit batsman in the eighth, handing a 4-3 lead to Chapman in the ninth. Betts greeted the left-hander with an infield single to shortstop Didi Gregorius, and Dustin Pedroia reached on an infield hit that saw Gregorius' throw pull Ronald Torreyes off the second-base bag.
With Xander Bogaerts batting, Betts and Pedroia executed a double steal on Chapman. Bogaerts followed with a hard ground ball that bounced off Torreyes' hand at second base, skittering away for an error that tied the game.
"It's one of those plays where the game is on the line," Torreyes said through an interpreter. "If you make the play, we probably have a better outcome."
An intentional walk to Hanley Ramirez loaded the bases, but Chapman threw five fastballs to Benintendi. Only one caught the strike zone, a foul, before Benintendi jogged to first base and Chapman trudged through the tunnel leading to the visitors' clubhouse without recording a single out.
"It's frustrating," Girardi said. "You look at how he got in trouble; there were some longer counts, but he gave up some ground balls just in the hole. If they're at somebody, the game is probably over. That's the frustrating part. He wasn't necessarily hit hard, but they put good at-bats on him and they won a game."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.