The Boston Red Sox won a huge game on Thursday night as they defeated the New York Yankees, 7-5, in the first of a four-game series at Fenway Park. Boston scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to put a major dent in their rival's playoff aspirations. Hanley Ramirez pounded the final nail in the coffin when he blasted a three-run home run to center field, his 25th bomb of the season.

A tale of two games

Things started off well for the Yankees as they smacked around Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez for four runs before he departed after just 2 1/3 innings of work.

The newest Yankee recently signed free agent Billy Butler, knocked in two runs in his first game with New York. Starlin Castro also contributed heavily to the offense with four hits and two runs batted in. Masahiro Tanaka pitched had a solid start allowing just one run in seven innings.

The Yankees bullpen blows up

Things started getting rocky for New York in the eighth inning as Adam Warren allowed a walk and two hits, including a solo home run by David Ortiz.

Warren escaped further damage by striking out Sandy Leon with men on first and second.

Yankees closerDellin Betances came into the game with one out in the ninth, and he could not lock the game down. He blew his fifth save of the season by giving up four runs on three hits and a walk.

New York's playoff hopes

Any hopes the Yankees had in winning the American League East pretty much died late Thursday night.

New York now stands five games behind the front-running Red Sox in the division, in fourth place. The Yankees are 3 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the second wild-card spot in the American League. The Blue Jays won on the West Coast on Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels.

The Yankees have 16 games left in their season, and they probably need to go at least 12-4 to have any shot at post-season play.

When the 2016 season ends Thursday's game may be the one, the team looks back on as the one that got away and where their playoff chances suffered the fatal blow.

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