BALTIMORE -- Yes, the Yankees rested regulars Sunday, not playing any of them in both ends of a day-night doubleheader against the Red Sox. But no one who watched the weekend series in the Bronx could say that the Yankees didn't try to win.
Will they do the same the next three nights against the Rays, who enter the final series of the season one game behind Boston in the American League wild-card race?
Yankee manager Joe Girardi's Monday night lineup would suggest that the answer is yes, as Girardi included most of his regulars for the opener of the series.
But no matter how Girardi approaches the series, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Monday he'll have no complaints.
"They're a professional team," Francona said. "Saying that, they can do what they want. They've played themselves into that position. I wish we were in that position. If they want to rest guys, they can."
Because the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the second game Sunday, Boston can win the wild card without any help from their rivals. But obviously a Yankee win or two against the Rays would make the Red Sox' task a whole lot easier.
"Our goal is to win the three games [against the Orioles]," David Ortiz said.
Ortiz said he talked to Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano on Sunday, and he took heart from what Cano told him.
"He said, 'I don't like days off,' " Ortiz said.
Does Ortiz think the Yankees will play as hard against the Rays as they did against the Red Sox?
"Hopefully," he said. "That's the way it's supposed to be."