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The Red Sox, of all teams, effectively can end the baseball season in Flushing and severely dash the hopes in The Bronx with five straight games this week against the Mets and the Yankees.
Is there a more fitting dual opponent for the fading local ball clubs than the resurgent organization one New York team counts as the opponent it most recently defeated in the World Series — albeit 35 years ago and counting? Or the one the other has blood-feuded with since stealing the most iconic figure in the game’s history more than a century ago?
The Red Sox enter their two-game set against the Mets beginning Tuesday night at Fenway Park winners of five in a row to seize the top wild-card position in the American League, two games ahead of the Yankees. Aaron Boone’s squad also trails the Blue Jays by a half-game for the second spot with 11 games remaining after Monday’s 4-3 win over the Rangers.