Yanks ask Wang to reel in Red Sox

Yanks ask Wang to reel in Red Sox

It took a rookie, Tyler Clippard, to right the Yankees' ways in the weekend Subway Series, twirling six innings of strong baseball to finally silence the Mets.

Now, as the Yankees move back across town to more familiar territory, they welcome in a most familiar opponent -- the Red Sox, who took two of three games from New York in a Massachusetts setting last month.

"It's going to be important games over there," said Yankees right fielder Bobby Abreu, who went 2-for-4 with two walks in the final game of the Mets series, leading Yankees manager Joe Torre to proclaim that Abreu is "back."

"We're just going to try to win as many games as we can win," Abreu said. "They've played very good right now, so it'll be interesting. It's going to be a good series."

The Yankees' hopes of at least returning the favor begin on Monday behind the efforts of right-hander Chien-Ming Wang, a 19-game winner last season who kicks off yet another vital series for the Yankees.

"Very important," Wang said of the start. "Maybe it can help the team feel better."

With Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina also scheduled to see Boston, this will mark just the second time in this injury-ravaged Yankees series that they've been able to call upon their top three starting pitchers.

But it's better late than never for the Yankees, who would prefer to look at their circumstances as good timing -- after all, who better to head out in hopes of trimming their 10 1/2-game American League East deficit to the runaway Red Sox?

"We know they're tough and they're playing well," Yankees captain Derek Jeter said. "We have to go right back out there [on Monday]. Hopefully, it'll be a good game."

Yankees Coverage
Jeter's late homer lifts Yanks
Yanks gear up for lesser opponents
Chamberlain springs curve on Sox
Notes: Peace of mind for Posada

Red Sox Coverage
Schilling's gem ends with loss
Bauman: Game mirrors Classic duel
Sox don't take lead for granted
Notes: Matsuzaka pushed back
Season Series
Yankees win 10-8
• 9/16: Yankees 4, Red Sox 3
• 9/15: Red Sox 10,Yankees 1
• 9/14: Yankees 8, Red Sox 7
Previous season series
2006: Yankees 11, Red Sox 8
2005: Yankees 10, Red Sox 9
2004: Red Sox 11, Yankees 8

After Clippard's stifling performance was backed by home runs from Jeter, Jorge Posada and Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees may finally be approaching some semblance of all cylinders firing.

At least that's the hope of Torre, who understands that the record isn't where it should be -- even if the manager insists that the effort has been maxed out.

"Hopefully, it'll carry over," Torre said. "We need to get on a little bit of a run here. We needed a win.

"Certainly, you feel better about yourself, whether you're playing Boston or any other team. We just hope we can build on it."

Pitching matchup
NYY: RHP Chien-Ming Wang (2-3, 4.54 ERA)
Wang will be making his sixth start of the season, his eighth career start against the Red Sox and his second of the year. Wang's last start came in the second game of a doubleheader on Wednesday at Chicago, where he recorded the win in an 8-1 Yankees victory.

BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (4-4, 2.41 ERA)
Wakefield took the loss in his last effort, a seven-inning performance against the Tigers at Fenway Park on May 15 in which he allowed five runs, including two homers. The knuckleballer took the loss in an April 28 start against the Yankees in Boston.

Player to watch
Manny Ramirez has 10 hits in 16 career at-bats against Wang, posting a .625 batting average. Ramirez has two homers and five RBIs mixed in that onslaught.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• YES

On radio
• 880 AM WCBS, 92.7 WQBU-FM (Español)

Up next
• Tuesday: Red Sox (RHP Julian Tavarez, 2-4, 5.59) at Yankees (RHP Mike Mussina 2-2, 5.64), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Red Sox (RHP Curt Schilling, 4-1, 3.57) at Yankees (LHP Andy Pettitte, 2-3, 2.83), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Off-day

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.