The Boston Red Sox aren’t subscribing to any label, just keeping their playoff hopes alive and steady entering a crucial weekend series against their arch-rival New York Yankees on the road.

Boston skipper Alex Cora re-established that stance after being spotted rocking an underdog ‘U’ tee shirt before Friday night’s series opener with the Yankees. The shirt, which refers to the ’60s animated series, ‘Underdog,’ wasn’t worn to send a message, but instead, a gift that Cora decided to put to use.

“Actually, Tek gave me a shirt with the ‘U.’ He put it in my locker and I put it on,” Cora told reporters at Yankee Stadium on Friday night, according to Chris Cotillo of MassLive. “It’s not a theme in the clubhouse.”

The Red Sox aren’t in (fully), but they’re not out either.

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Boston entered its three-game visit with the Yankees sitting 3.5 games behind in the American League wild-card race. That’s not a nail-in-the-coffin deficit, however, it’s no walk in the park with the season quickly approaching its end either. The Red Sox have their work cut out for them after dropping two of three to the subpar Washington Nationals in their previous series.

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With 40 games left to play after Friday night, the Red Sox face a tough schedule that’ll put them to the ultimate test, facing the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers — both 70-plus win teams — for a 10-game stretch after wrapping up their set in The Bronx.

“Every game counts from March 29 all the way to the end of the season, but now, you see it. The days are less,” Cora explained. “The urgency is there. And you can tell. We’ve just got to keep grinding, keep going. This is a tough part of the schedule. We know. But I think we’ve been good against solid teams.”

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Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images