BOSTON — Sure, this series is tied. But so much momentum is on the side of the New York Yankees.

The Yankees are pitching better – holding Boston to eight hits and two runs over the last 14 innings.

New York is swinging the bats better. The Yankees would have swept the first two games in Boston if they had not left 18 men on base.

The best-of-five American League Division Series shifts to New York on Monday and Tuesday, with the Yankees and Red Sox tied at one game apiece. On Monday night, New York will have ace Luis Severino, pitching in Yankee Stadium.

“They haven’t lost a playoff game (there) in a while,” Red Sox Manager Alex Cora said. “They swept the Astros last year. Tough place to play.”

The Yankees have won their last seven playoff games at home – the wild-card game last week and all six postseason games last year. They beat the Astros in three ALCS games in New York last fall.

“Last year, that place was alive,” said Cora, who was the Astros bench coach in 2017. “From the get-go, it was loud.

“I know the (Red Sox-Yankees) rivalry and everything. We played some games there and it’s been loud, but nothing like the way it’s going to be on Monday.”

New York fans will be sensing blood. This 108-win Red Sox team appears wounded, and the Yankees are confident.

“Going back 1-1, going home, it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Yankees reliever Dellin Betances told reporters after Saturday’s game.

The Yankees won 53 games this season at Yankee Stadium. Only Boston won more home games (57), but the Red Sox gave away home-field advantage Saturday with a 6-2 loss.

The Yankees led the majors in home runs (267), and 54 percent of them (144) were launched in the Bronx. That’s been a point of focus for Cora, emphasizing pitching execution.

“You have to keep the ball in the ballpark – that’s the No. 1 goal against these guys,” Cora said.

David Price could not do it Saturday, nor could Eduardo Rodriguez, who can look lights-out one moment and unfocused the next.

So, Job 1 is better pitching. The Red Sox will start Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello in New York. Cora must fashion a relief plan after that. Joe Kelly’s 2 1/3 scoreless innings Saturday were encouraging. Matt Barnes will be in there … and likely Price, who can still be effective out of the bullpen.

Offensively, Cora needs to shake his team up. Third baseman Rafael Devers and second baseman Brock Holt need to be used. Holt hit .415 with four home runs over his last 15 games in the regular season. He has yet to play in the playoffs. Second baseman Ian Kinsler is 2 for 8 with five strikeouts in the first two games.

Devers brings power, and his left-handed stroke may be just right in New York.

Catcher Sandy Leon has been praised for his defense. But he’s a .177 hitter and is 0 for 5 in the playoffs.

Boston is in a mini-slump, but no slump is small in a short series.

The Red Sox say they are not worried.

“We know the team we are,” shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. “We can put up good at-bats … We have 108 wins, 109 (counting the playoffs). So we know how to win games. We just have to go out there and stick to our game plan.”

Banking on their franchise-record win total may instill some confidence, but it means little in the postseason. Bogaerts said the good at-bats “didn’t happen (Saturday) … (Masahiro) Tanaka pitched well.”

But the Red Sox must find a way against good pitchers, like Tanaka and Severino (19-8, 3.39).

Boston had mixed success against Severino in four games this season. In two of the games, Boston scored a combined nine earned runs over 10 2/3 innings.

In the other two games – a total of 12 2/3 innings – Severino allowed two runs in one start and none in the other.

Guess where the two good starts were pitched? New York. Severino will be on the mound there again Monday night, backed by an impressive bullpen and a formidable offense.

Advantage, Yankees.

This series is tied, but slipping out of Boston’s grip.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: ClearTheBases

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