Boston Red Sox (60-77) at New York Yankees (70-65), 7:05 p.m. (ET)

09/02/2014 9:28 AM

09/02/2014 9:29 AM

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Yankees try to make up some ground in the American League playoff race on Tuesday when they kick off a nine-game homestand with the first of three games against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.

New York comes into the contest four games back of the second wild card in the AL and also sits 8 1/2 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East.

"You know what's in front of you," Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said. "We need to win games."

New York, though, lost two of three to the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend and has dropped four of six overall. The Yankees now return home, where they have won four in a row and 15 of their last 23.

Former Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury could be back in the Yankees' lineup Tuesday, after not starting the last two games with an ankle injury. He pinch- hit in the Yanks' loss on Sunday.

Ellsbury has been the Yankees' most consistent hitter throughout the season and was their hottest hitter during the month of August, as he batted .324 with five homers.

Getting the call for the Yankees on Tuesday will be right-hander Shane Greene, who is 4-1 with a 3.09 ERA this season. Greene beat Detroit on Wednesday, as he allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings. He also struck out eight in the win, one in which the Yankees rocked David Price for nine straight hits and eight runs in the third inning.

"Sometimes you think, 'Hurry up, I want to get back out there,'" Greene said. "But it's nice when a team can go out there and put up runs like that."

Greene did not get a decision versus the Red Sox back on Aug. 2, but surrendered three runs in 4 2/3 innings of his team's 6-4 win.

Boston, meanwhile, will counter with Joe Kelly, who is still searching for his first win as a member of the Red Sox. Acquired at the non-waiver deadline from St. Louis, Kelly has gone 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in five starts for Boston.

He did not get a decision on Wednesday in Toronto, as he yielded two runs and three hits with a pair of walks in six innings of his team's 5-2 loss.

Boston split a four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend, but was denied a series win on Monday, as it fell, 4-3, in 10 innings. Mike Napoli homered, with Yoenis Cespedes and Mookie Betts knocking in a run each for the Red Sox, who have dropped three of their last five.

The Red Sox are expected to be without second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who is still recovering from a concussion.

"He still has some of the symptoms," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "So this is clearly a day-to-day thing. We're probably at least another day from any kind of exertion test or any kind of ramping up of the heart rate to see if there's still some residual [symptoms]. But he's sore where the impact took place on the side of the head. As I mentioned the other day, we'll be cautious with this."

New York is 8-5 versus the Red Sox this season.

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