BOSTON (CBS) – With an important three-game set against the Yankees in the Bronx beginning Friday night, the Red Sox know they need to start winning games.

“Every game is crucial. We’re at a point now where we need to win,” said second baseman Dustin Pedroia. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing.”

“I think every series against the Yankees is always a big one, because there is always a lot of hype around it,” said shortstop Mike Aviles. “Given the current situation, hopefully it’s a good series and we go in there and at least take two-of-three. The focus really is to try to win the series, and from here one out try to win each series.”

Read: Red Sox-Yankees Pitching Matchups

At 49-50, the Red Sox sit 10.5 games behind the Yankees in the AL East and 4.5 games behind the Angels and Athletics for the two AL Wild Card spots.

The team knows that if they want to make any kind of noise for postseason play, they have to start winning every series. A win streak would certainly help that.

“I think it’s very important if we can run off a couple winning streaks; six, seven, eight games. That would set us up well going into August,” said Friday night starter Aaron Cook.

For Cook, Friday night will be just his second start in Yankee Stadium. Even though the Yanks won’t have Alex Rodriguez in the lineup, they do have newcomer Ichiro Suzuki who is never an easy out.

Read: Red Sox – Yankees Preview

“They’re a great team; they put together a great lineup every time out there and it’s a team you have to take serious,” said Cook, who is 2-3 with a 3.50 ERA for Boston this season. “You can’t take any batter or any pitch off. You just have to attack them.”

“Ichiro has been a good player for a long time and they’re adding that to their lineup. Losing A-Rod is big because he’s a run producer, but the Yankees have always found ways to win games,” said Aviles. “I expect them to do the same (this weekend); come out and give us good games because that’s the way they’ve always played.”

After their weekend in New York, the Red Sox return home for a 10-game home-stand starting with three against the Detroit Tigers. It doesn’t get any easier for the struggling Sox, but they know they are running out of time in the 2012 season.

“It’s a tough stretch,” said Pedroia. “We’re playing some of the best teams. We have to play well.”

“We just have to be consistent. That’s it,” he added.


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