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              === Surging Yankees pay a visit to rival Red Sox ===
 
 (Sports  Network) - The  Boston Red Sox expect to have David Ortiz back in the
 lineup  this  evening when they start  a three-game series against their hated
 rivals, the New York Yankees, at Fenway Park.
 
 Ortiz  hasn't played since  May 31 because of a torn tendon sheath in his left
 wrist.  Even when he played, though, Big Papi was not the feared hitter he has
 been in the past, batting just .252 with 13 home runs and 43 RBI in 54 games.
 
 The  32-year-old slugger,  who has averaged more  than 40 home runs and over a
 100  RBI  since joining Boston in  2003, showed signs  of the old Ortiz in his
 six-game  rehab assignment,  though, going 5-for-18 with three homers, six RBI
 and five runs scored.
 
 Without  Ortiz the  Red  Sox went  26-19  and actually  gained  ground in  the
 division.  When Ortiz went down, the Sox were one game back in the AL East and
 thanks  to  Tampa Bay's  loss to  Kansas City  on Thursday,  the Red Sox enter
 tonight's matchup tied for first place.
 
 Boston,  which  is coming  a three-game  sweep of Seattle,  will be starting a
 nine-game  homestand  tonight that will also  include visits from the AL West-
 leading Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Oakland Athletics.
 
 The Red Sox own the AL's best home mark at 36-11.
 
 Getting  the  call in  tonight's opener  for the  Red Sox  will be righty Josh
 Beckett,  who will  try and beat the  Yankees for the fourth time this season.
 Beckett  last  pitched against them  on July 4 and  allowed four runs and nine
 hits  over  eight innings to run  his lifetime mark  against them to 7-3 to go
 along with a 5.75 ERA in 11 starts.
 
 Beckett  fell to  9-6 on  the season  on Saturday  in Anaheim,  as the  Angels
 touched him up for four runs and nine hits in eight innings.
 
 The  Yankees, meanwhile, enter tonight's opener as one of the hottest teams in
 the  league after  completing their  second straight  sweep, taking  all three
 games  from the  Minnesota Twins and running their winning streak to six games
 overall.
 
 Second  baseman  Robinson Cano  has been the  offensive catalyst, hitting .519
 with two home runs and seven RBI in the six games since the All-Star break.
 
 New  York has  also gotten tremendous starting pitching over the course of its
 tear and will hope to continue that trend tonight with 22-year-old righty Joba
 Chamberlain  slated to take the hill for the first time as a starter at Fenway
 Park.
 
 Chamberlain,  who is 2-3 with a 2.52 ERA on the season, did not get a decision
 on  Saturday against Oakland, despite giving up just a run and six hits in six
 innings of his team's 4-3 win.
 
 Boston has won five of its nine matchups with the Yankees this season.
 
 07/25 10:50:38 ET


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