Raul Ibanez hit a game-tying, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning and provided the walk-off single in the bottom of the 12th to send the Yankees to a 4-3 victory in 12 innings and at least a berth in a one-game playoff for the American League East crown.
After the Yankees fell behind 3-1 in the ninth inning, Ibanez hit a pinch-hit homer with Curtis Granderson on base to tie the game. With multiple chances to score, both teams were unable to convert the big hit until Ibanez came through in the 12th.
Most the night's scoring was done in the first two innings, as Yankees starter David Phelps gave up RBI hits to Dustin Pedroia and Cody Ross before settling down over 5⅓ innings, giving up just three hits.
The Yankees' lone run before the ninth was scored in the second inning off of Red Sox starter Jon Lester, who kept the damage of eight hits to a minimum against the Yankees on Tuesday.
The Yankees will now look to avoid a one-game playoff with the Baltimore Orioles for the AL East crown and the possibility of a one-game Wild Card playoff under baseball's new postseason rules.
Combined with the Orioles' 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, Tuesday night's results leave the following possibilities for the Yankees and Orioles, with the Yankees magic number at one:
With either a Yankees victory or an Orioles loss, the Yankees would clinch the division title and the Orioles would head to the American League's Wild Card playoff.
If the Yankees lose and Orioles win Wednesday, the two would be forced into Game 163 to decide the division crown. The winner of that game would be the AL East champion and the loser would be on to the American League's Wild Card playoff game.
The Yankees take on the Red Sox in the season finale, looking for the sweep, Wednesday at 7 p.m. Hiroki Kuroda starts for the Yankees, while Daisuke Matsuzaka goes for the Red Sox.