Boston would win the next two nights in the Bronx, running its record against the hated rivals to 8-1, and would soon begin the most successful July in franchise history — a run that, when extended to include some of June and some of August, translates to 23 wins in 30 games.
And after all that? They're right back where they started.
Since the Yankees were swept at home by the Red Sox, they've barreled through their schedule to the tune of a 35-15 mark. They have won seven straight to catch the Sox, outscoring opponents by an unreal 63-19 margin.
In a four-game sweep in Chicago, New York pitchers recorded zero walks. That was just the third time in modern major league history that a team has done that in a four-game set. The club has scored 17 runs or more three times in its last 14 games.
Essentially, everything is clicking for the Bronx Bombers as they invade Fenway.
"We respect how good they are," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Think they're exactly tied with us, so [the games will] be fun. They'll be long, but they'll be fun."
Among the components of New York's surge has been success on the bases. The Yanks have been running on teams every chance they get, recording an AL-high 112 steals. Brett Gardner leads the way with 33, one of four players on the team with double figures in the category.
Francona said he's been wary of that aggressiveness, which should be interesting given the vast improvement Red Sox catchers have made in that department of late.
"I think they've always been underrated," he said. "They hit so well people don't talk about their base-stealing. They've always had a lot of guys steal bases. Obviously, they're feeling good about themselves offensively, and they're doing it right from the first inning. They're running guys out of there before they can get into the game, throwing a crooked number on them. We're aware of that.
"We always have a hot and a not-hot in our scouting report. Not too many guys on that not-hot."
At least not since they last played the Red Sox.
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