NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Sure, Boston may be down and out. But there's still no shortage of juice for Yankees-Red Sox heading into a key three-game series at Fenway Park.
When the teams start things off Tuesday night, the Yankees, clinging to a one-game lead over Baltimore and a two-game advantage over the third-place Tampa Bay Rays, will be playing to stave off company atop the AL East.
And if you don't think the hapless Red Sox want to spoil it for New York, think again.
"Obviously it's going to be a different feel than what people are used to around here. We'll play spoiler," said Boston outfielder Cody Ross. "That's all we can do now, is try to ruin people's seasons, because ours is pretty much (ruined). That's what we'll do."
The last-place Red Sox haven't been in the playoff conversation much at all this season, though they've generated their share of headlines under manager Bobby Valentine.
The losing hasn't helped things for Valentine, whose team has lost 11 of 12 and hasn't been in the AL East basement this late in the season since 1997, according to STATS LLC.
The Yankees will look to add to the misery at Fenway with Hiroki Kuroda (13-10) on the hill opposite Red Sox starter Jon Lester (9-11).
"It's all right in front of us," said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, according to the team's official website. "I know it's easier said than done and I'm not belittling how difficult that stuff is. I know we've certainly got a hell of a competition going with both Baltimore and Tampa Bay. But I know we're up for that challenge and we're not afraid of it. I know our guys are not afraid of it."
It won't be a cakewalk for the banged-up Yankees. First baseman Mark Teixeira is expected to miss 10-14 days after aggravating his strained left calf on Saturday, an injury which kept him out of the previous 10 games.
And after Boston, a huge series against Tampa Bay awaits.
"Now we're going to miss him for more," said manager Joe Girardi. "We need other guys to pick up the slack."
Think the Yankees will bury the Red Sox further, or will they fall flat in Boston? Be heard in the comments below!
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