Girardi expects Yanks to continue daily focus

Girardi expects Yanks to continue daily focus

NEW YORK -- The last time the Yankees played the Red Sox, Ryan Dempster hit Alex Rodriguez, the benches cleared and tempers flared.

But when Boston comes to New York on Thursday, nearly three weeks will have passed since that game. Hopefully, manager Joe Girardi said, the time has diffused the tension between the two clubs.

"I think that obviously we know what's at stake, and we have to go out and play the games and win the games," Girardi said. "That's the most important thing."

Despite what happened the last time the two teams met, Girardi said he doesn't expect there to be any added attention from Major League Baseball or the umpires on what happens on the field.

Besides, he didn't want the Yankees to look forward to those games just yet. First, he said, they have to focus on finishing off a sweep of the White Sox on Wednesday.

"I want to make sure we're concentrated on today," Girardi said. "We had a chance to sweep over the weekend before this and blew a lead. It can happen quickly, so we've got to keep the pedal to the metal."

The Yankees did just that, escaping with a 6-5 victory to close out the White Sox.

Josh Vitale is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.