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Yankees ready for sprint to the finish line

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The Yankees seemed encouraged after completing a 7-2 homestand, albeit capped by Sunday’s 5-4 loss to Oakland.

There are 10 games to go and the Yankees own a one-game division edge over Baltimore.

Their schedule has a Minnesota/Toronto/Boston finish — three teams way south of .500. So it would seem on paper to be advantage Yankees, especially since the Orioles have to play a doubleheader today at home against the Blue Jays and conclude with three at Tampa Bay.

“I don’t know if it works to our advantage,” Eric Chavez said. “You’ve still got to play the games. … But are we supposed to beat the teams that we’re supposed to beat? Yeah.

“So we need to go ahead and have another good week and try to finish this thing up as good as we can.

“There are two things at stake. Obviously we want to get in, and we want to be playing well to get in, too. We don’t want to back up into it. We want to gain some momentum.”

Chavez likes how things are shaping for the Yankees beyond the schedule, which continues tonight with Andy Pettitte taking the ball in Minnesota, his second start since returning from his fractured ankle.

“Pettitte came back,” Chavez said. “Alex (Rodriguez) looks great. He’s been huge for our lineup. We started hitting the ball ever since Alex got back, so we really needed that. I think we’re playing good. We started to turn the corner a little bit. It was a good homestand for us. We really needed it.”

So do you think the Yankees are going to win the division or draw a wild card? I’ll cast a vote for the division.

Eduardo Nunez didn’t help the cause [2] yesterday. If you have a moment, check out my linked story today for LoHud.com and The Journal News about that as well as the one looking ahead to Pettitte’s [3] start.