The AL East rivals conclude their season series Sunday when they play a second straight day-night doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.
New York (90-57) and Boston (79-69) split Saturday’s two games with the Red Sox winning 5-2 in the opener and the Yankees bouncing back for a 7-5 win in the nightcap. The two games took over seven hours.
“I think I’m going to focus right now on getting a few hours of sleep before I get here tomorrow,” New York outfielder Bernie Williams said. “It’s going to be a long day.
The Yankees have a magic number of four and can potentially clinch their ninth straight AL East title Sunday. They must sweep the doubleheader and Toronto must lose at home to Tampa Bay.
Shortstop Derek Jeter went 1-for-5 in each game for the Yankees to extend his career-high hitting streak to 25 games, the longest for the Yankees since Joe Gordon’s 29-game run in 1942. His batting average dipped to .343—second in the AL to Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer, who’s hitting .344.
“We’ve got two weeks left. I’m not even thinking about that,” Jeter said.
He was cheered loudly during both games and had his name chanted during Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz’s at-bats in the first game. Ortiz sat out the nightcap.
Ortiz became a focal point after he was quoted in Monday’s editions of The Boston Globe as saying power hitters deserve MVP awards, remarks some took as a putdown of Jeter’s qualifications. Ortiz was booed loudly every time he batted and greeted with chants of “Derek Jeter!”
“I didn’t expect it,” said Jeter, whose at-bats were marked by chants of “M-V-P!”
Ortiz reached base all five times in Boston’s victory with two doubles and three walks.
Jeter said Ortiz’s remarks were “over with.” The Yankees star joked with the Boston slugger when Ortiz was at second base.
“Nothing any different than we always do,” Jeter said. “You joke around a little bit when you’re playing against people.”
New York sent 17-game winners Chien-Ming Wang and Randy Johnson to the mound on Saturday and neither won. The Yankees will start their other two pitchers with double-digit victories, right-handers Jaret Wright (10-7, 4.60 ERA) and Mike Mussina (14-6, 3.59), on Sunday.
Wright is 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA in three starts against the Red Sox this season. He’s bidding to cement the fourth and final postseason rotation spot for New York.
The right-hander allowed three runs over 6 1-3 innings of last Sunday’s 9-4 victory at Baltimore to earn his first win since Aug. 12.
Mussina is just 1-3 with a 4.45 ERA over his last six starts, although he is 4-0 with a 2.23 ERA in his last six outings at home. He’s 2-0 with a 5.40 ERA in three starts against Boston in 2006.
Snyder has not pitched since Sept. 6, when he gave up five runs and seven hits in 2 1-3 innings of an 8-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Boston has lost five of the last six games in which he has appeared.
Jarvis makes his third start for Boston since being acquired from Arizona on Aug. 31. He is 0-1 in his first two outings with the Red Sox, giving up six earned runs and 17 hits over 10 innings.