After hitting 19 homers in the past three games to push their winning streak to eight games, the New York Yankees go for their 11th consecutive win over the host Boston Red Sox Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park.
The Yankees (29-21) have followed a 5-15 slide by slugging their way back into contention. They are outscoring opponents 71-20 and hitting .312 (83-for-266) in the past eight games after becoming the seventh team in baseball history to homer five times in an inning during Thursday's 10-7 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
During the historic fourth inning, Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit homered on consecutive pitches. Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres homered later in the inning and Gary Sanchez also homered as the Yankees became the first team in baseball history to go deep at least six times in three straight games.
"What a show," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "I was sitting in the dugout and just watching it. It's impressive."
New York's run has pushed it from eighth in the American League playoff race to fifth. The Yankees are closing in on the Minnesota Twins for fourth place in the AL and the right to host every game in a first-round series.
"Huge, we're keeping the foot on the gas, that's the plan, that's the goal," Stanton said of possibly getting fourth. "We're in a good spot for it but we got to keep working."
New York is 7-0 this season after hitting 17 homers and outscoring the Red Sox 50-23 in New York during two weekends last month, including four games when Stanton and Aaron Judge were sidelined.
Stanton and Judge are expected to be in the lineup together for the first time since coming back from injuries and the Yankees can move within one of matching the longest winning streak over Boston in team history. New York's longest winning streak over the Red Sox was from Aug. 16, 1952-April 23, 1953.
Boston (19-32) is 1-15 in the past 16 meetings with the Yankees and 13-15 since a 6-3 loss in New York on Aug. 17. The Red Sox are coming off a respectable 5-4 road trip through Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and Miami.
Boston ended its trip with a 5-3 win at Miami on Thursday afternoon. Rafael Devers hit a three-run homer and is batting .463 (19-for-41) with five homers and 14 RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak.
"Raffy is just unbelievable," Boston manager Ron Roenicke said. "Gifted hands with tremendous power to all fields. We know he chases a lot. He is a good bad-ball hitter, but when he gets a little bit closer to that zone, he's a really scary hitter."
The series opener will feature a matchup of left-handers when New York's Jordan Montgomery (2-2, 4.76 ERA) opposes Martin Perez (3-4, 4.33).
Montgomery is coming off one of his best outings of the season when he allowed an unearned run on three hits in 5 2/3 innings during Saturday's 2-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
The 27-year-old is 1-0 with a 3.42 ERA in five career starts against Boston. He held them to one run in 5 2/3 innings July 31 and then allowed a run in 3 2/3 innings in a no-decision on Aug. 17.
Perez has allowed two runs or less in six starts this season but is 0-3 with a 5.48 ERA in his four home starts so far. He last pitched in Sunday's win at Tampa Bay when he allowed two earned runs in five innings.
Perez is 2-3 with a 9.85 ERA in six career starts against the Yankees. He opposed Montgomery on Aug. 17 and allowed three runs in three innings.
--Field Level Media