Even with a growing medical report, the New York Yankees are on the verge of sweeping the Boston Red Sox and pushing their longtime rival further back in the American League East standings.
The Yankees will attempt to get the four-game sweep of Boston on Sunday night at Yankee Stadium, but they also will be holding their breath about Aaron Hicks, who has an elbow injury.
Hours before the Yankees attempt to get the first four-game sweep of the Red Sox since Aug. 6-9, 2009, Hicks will be getting an MRI.
The Yankees are 10-4 against Boston this year after getting multi-homer games from DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres in Saturday's costly doubleheader sweep. In between games, Edwin Encarnacion landed on the injured list with a fractured right elbow, and Hicks injured his elbow making a throw during the 6-4 win in the nightcap.
Hicks will likely join Encarnacion on the injured list, giving the Yankees 17 players currently on the IL. If Hicks gets placed on the injured list, it will give the Yankees 29 stints for 24 different players.
"I don't think it's a stretch to say that any sort of missed time with them is not great, but the thing about our team is that we just keep moving forward," Yankees outfielder Mike Tauchman said. "Guys come in and try to pick the guys up, and we just kind of continue to move that line."
Boston's injury list is not extensive but the team continues to fade in the AL East and wild-card races. Since winning the first three games of last weekend's series in Boston over the Yankees, the Red Sox are on a seven-game losing streak.
It's their longest since an eight-game skid in July 2015 and it has pushed Boston 5 1/2 games out in the wild-card chase behind Tampa Bay and 13 1/2 games behind New York in the division.
The Red Sox are hoping to salvage a game in the series after going 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position in Saturday's second game. During this skid Boston is batting .169 (10-for-59) with runners in scoring position.
"The effort was good," Boston manager Alex Cora said. "It was a good game. We just didn't win. That's it. We can't be saying we're playing good games. We got to start winning."
David Price (7-4, 3.86 ERA) is expected to return from the paternity list for Sunday's game. Price is 0-2 with an 8.16 ERA in his last three starts and last pitched Tuesday when he allowed four runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings of a 6-5 loss to Tampa Bay.
Price beat the Yankees on June 2 in New York when he allowed two runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings of Boston's 8-5 win. He is 16-14 with a 4.85 ERA in 43 career appearances (42 starts) against the Yankees and 9-8 with a 4.74 ERA in 22 career starts at the current Yankee Stadium.
J.A. Happ (8-6, 5.19) also is expected to return from the paternity list and make his start Sunday for New York. Happ last pitched in a 4-2 loss to Arizona Tuesday when he allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings in his longest outing since June 6 in Toronto.
Happ enters Sunday 1-2 with a 5.95 ERA in his last four starts, but is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA in two starts against the Red Sox this season. He is 9-4 with a 3.00 ERA in 23 career appearances (22 starts) against Boston.
--Field Level Media
Yankees look to keep steamrolling over Red Sox