Wang looks to lead the Yankees to their longest winning streak in a year when they wrap up a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Thursday at Yankee Stadium.
Wang (17-5, 3.60 ERA) has not lost since Aug. 13, winning four decisions since then, and is 9-1 with a 2.73 ERA over his last 12 starts. The second-year right-hander allowed one run and eight hits in 7 1-3 innings of Saturday’s 3-2 victory at Baltimore.
New York has won 20 games started by Wang, who’s 10-2 with a 2.76 ERA in 15 starts at Yankee Stadium. He can match Minnesota’s Johan Santana for the major league lead in wins Thursday.
When asked if he should be considered for the AL Cy Young Award, Wang answered simply, “No.” Some of his teammates seem to think otherwise.
“You expect him to go out and win 13 or 14 games in a good year, but he’s stepped up to the forefront,” Yankees center fielder Johnny Damon said. “Hopefully, he’ll get some Cy Young considerations. He should finish up top.”
Wang is 3-3 with a 3.97 ERA in seven starts against the Devil Rays. He has faced them three times this season, going 2-0 with a 1.11 ERA and pitching a two-hitter in a 6-0 home victory July 28.
Wang also threw 8 1-3 innings of one-run ball at Tampa Bay on July 8 in a 5-1 win.
The Yankees (88-56) won their fifth straight Wednesday, 8-4 over the Rays. New York has not won six in a row since Sept. 11-17 of last season. The Yankees have had seven winning streaks of five games since then.
Robinson Cano went 2-for-3 with a homer and five RBIs on Wednesday, and Alex Rodriguez was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a towering home run for the Yankees, who trimmed their magic number for clinching a ninth straight AL East title to seven.
Cano has 37 RBIs in 35 games since coming off the DL on Aug. 8.
New York moved a season-high 32 games over .500 and pushed its division lead to a season-high 11 1/2 games over second-place Boston.
Derek Jeter had a first-inning single to extend his hitting streak to 22 games, the longest by a Yankee since current batting coach Don Mattingly had a 24-game run in 1986. Jeter stole his 30th base and scored twice.
“We don’t have a soft spot. We really don’t,” manager Joe Torre said. “We have a lot of good energy right now and I’m really pleased with the way we’re playing.”
Rocco Baldelli and Carl Crawford homered in the first for the Devil Rays (57-88), losers of three straight and 24 of 26 on the road. Tampa Bay, which dropped a season-worst 31 games under .500, was pounded 12-4 in Tuesday’s series opener.
James Shields (6-7, 4.71) will take the mound for the Rays in the finale. He allowed six runs and seven hits, including a grand slam, in 3 2-3 innings of Friday’s 8-6 loss to Oakland.
The 24-year-old rookie had been 2-1 with a 2.52 ERA in his previous six starts. He made his only start against New York on July 30, allowing four runs and two homers in seven innings of a 4-2 loss at Yankee Stadium.