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Steadied Yankees still fierce as they hit Fenway Park for final 2022 appearance

Tommy Pham and the Red Sox took two of three from the Yankees during their last visit to Fenway Park from Aug. 12-14, the hosts holding a slight 4-3 edge entering two final games between them in Boston.Carlin Stiehl for The Boston Globe

The Yankees will arrive at Fenway Park on Tuesday having won six of their last eight games, assuaging fears they were about to pull one of the all-time choke jobs.

Still, what was once a 15½-game lead in the American League East was down to 5½ games with 21 to play following Tampa Bay’s 3-2 loss in Toronto. The Yankees are 21-28 since the All-Star break, which is actually worse than the last-place Red Sox (21-27).

“They’re still in first place,” Sox manager Alex Cora said. “That’s something people forget with all this. I’ve been hearing the Mets are collapsing. They’re not collapsing. It’s just the [Braves] have played better.”


The Yankees had 15 players on the injured list Monday. Among them: Andrew Benintendi, Matt Carpenter, Aroldis Chapman, DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo, and Luis Severino. It’s not the same team the Sox last played a month ago and took two of three from.

“Obviously with the injuries and all that, it’s been tough for them,” Cora said. “The pitching is still good. The lineup is a lot different compared to halfway through the season.”

Then there’s the Aaron Judge issue. He is hitting .307 with a 1.090 OPS and 55 home runs. He has a 1.189 OPS since Aug. 1, with 30 RBIs in 37 games.

Judge continues to mash his way toward a record season.Paul Connors/Associated Press

Cora has issued only 15 intentional walks this season, none to Judge. Could that change in the remaining six games between the teams?

“We’ll pick and choose. I saw this with [Barry] Bonds. You get caught up with walking guys and the next guy hits a three-run homer,” he said. “[Judge] is locked in right now, but I think we’ve done a pretty good job with him this season.”

Judge has a .904 OPS and three homers against the Sox in 12 games this season. He has a modest .628 OPS in 36 career regular-season games at Fenway Park, with six home runs in 146 at-bats. (He’s 6 for 13 in three postseason appearances, with two homers during the 2018 AL Division Series.)


Since his rookie season in 2016, Sox managers have intentionally walked Judge twice over 78 games, and never at Fenway Park. The last was June 30, 2019.

Cora is rooting for Judge to break the American League home run record of 61 set by Roger Maris in 1961.

“For the game, it would be great for him to do it. He seems like he’s a great kid and very humble,” Cora said. “He hasn’t gotten caught up in anything, from contract negotiations and the chase for the home run mark.”

Nick Pivetta is scheduled to start Tuesday. He has allowed 17 earned runs in 13⅓ innings against the Yankees this season. He will oppose Gerrit Cole, who has faced the Sox three times this season and given up 10 earned runs over 17 innings.

Yu Chang added to roster

The Red Sox claimed 27-year-old infielder Yu Chang off waivers from Tampa Bay. He is expected to be in uniform for Tuesday’s game.

Chang will be joining his fourth team this season. He started out with the Guardians, was traded to the Pirates on May 30, then claimed off waivers by the Rays on July 5.

He has hit .216 with four home runs, 14 RBIs, and a .605 OPS over 58 games. What’s the attraction? Chang is a good defender at all four infield positions and had a .690 OPS in 36 games for the Rays before he was dropped to make room for Wander Franco coming off the injured list.


The move is not related to Trevor Story leaving Sunday’s game at Baltimore with a twisted left ankle.

Chang has already played for Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay this season.Mike Carlson/Associated Press

Outfielder Jaylin Davis was designated for assignment to make room for Chang on the 40-man roster. Davis was 8 for 24 with two RBIs in 12 games for the Sox earlier this season. He has hit .212 in 86 Triple A games this year.

Another move will be needed on Tuesday to open a spot on the 28-man active roster.

Long-term deal

Kacie McDonnell Hosmer and Eric Hosmer welcomed their first child on Sunday, a boy they named Jack. McDonnell Hosmer is a former NESN anchor who now works for Fox Business . . . The Yankees made a roster move ahead of the series. Catcher Jose Trevino was reinstated from the paternity list and infielder Ronald Guzmán was outrighted off the major league roster and assigned to Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Peter Abraham can be reached at peter.abraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.