The New York Yankees return to the field tonight after a three-day break for the All-Star Game. They will play the American League West leading Houston Astros two games on the road after defeating the Boston Red Sox two out of three last weekend in the Bronx.
The Yankees, who at 64-28 have the best record in Major League Baseball, will face the 59-32 Astros for the sixth and seventh times this season in their short two-game series. They split a four-game series at Yankee Stadium in late June and the Astros took a 2-1 win in a makeup game in Houston on June 30.
With 70 games remaining, the Yankees, who topped MLB with six All-Star selections for the American League in Tuesday’s games, hold a 13-game lead over the second place Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. They went into the break having pounded the Red Sox in Games 2 and 3 of their series.
After losing Game 1, 5-4 in 11 innings on Friday, the Yanks lit up the Sox 14-1 on Saturday and crushed them 13-2 on Sunday. Boston, who had been surging the last two months, dropped from second place to fourth after the two losses, and now trail the Yankees by 16.5 games in the division.
“Great job by them,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone on Sunday in complimenting his team. “Been a little bit of a rough week obviously. To answer last night and today with two pretty emphatic victories, you want to roll into the break feeling good.”
Prior to hosting the Red Sox, the Yankees had lost four out of their previous five games, including the last two games of a four-game series against Boston at Fenway Park held July 7-10.
The Yankees’ offense has produced impressive power numbers. Their 157 home runs are the most of any team as is their 472 RBI. The Yankees’ balance is reflected in their pitching staff. They are third in ERA at 3.08, second in shutouts with 12 and tied for third in saves with 31.