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Still, the Red Sox have plenty of pop. Adrian Gonzalez leads the AL in hitting (.361) and RBIs (71). And Kevin Youkilis (.275, 11, 55) is having another solid season.

“Those guys can’t do it all the time,” Youkilis said of Crawford and Ortiz. “When one of the guys have been out, we’ve scored a lot of runs. It’s not one guy that is going to make this team or break it.”

The Red Sox are 26-17 against the Phillies and took four of six meetings last year. They’re 11-4 in Philadelphia’s cozy, hitter-friendly ballpark.

“Anytime the Red Sox come in, it’s big for us,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “It’s big for our fans. I think we’ve had a hard time beating them in the past, the last five or six years I’ve been here. It would be nice to win a series. We need to come out Tuesday and make sure we play good against them.

“It’s good for us to play Boston. I think we’re going to get a good look at some good pitching and also a good team, a very good hitting team. That’s good for us. That’s a good test for us.”

The Red Sox have cooled off a bit since winning 14 of 16. They lost four in a row to San Diego and Pittsburgh before beating the Pirates on Sunday.

Perhaps that’s why Youkilis wasn’t so excited about talking up the series.

“I don’t really pay attention (to Philadelphia),” he said. “Like I don’t know half the pitchers. I know the starting Phillies pitchers. But I can’t name the relief guys, a lot of them.

“I don’t think about World Series. We haven’t even gotten halfway through the season yet, so thinking about the World Series is a little crazy in my mind. Some other guys might do that. I don’t.”

The Red Sox won’t get a warm welcome in Philadelphia, especially Francona and J.D. Drew. Francona had four losing seasons managing the Phillies from 1997-2000. And Drew has been booed lustily ever since he refused to sign with Philadelphia after being selected with the No. 2 overall pick in 1997.

“I don’t think they’re going to have a parade in Philly,” Francona said of his return.

The only parade that matters is the one in October.

And both teams have a legitimate chance to participate in it.