The late-August winning streak has been the hallmark of some of the greatest Red Sox teams of the past 25 years.

In 1986, the Sox ripped off 11 straight wins, beginning at August’s end, to end any doubts of another division collapse.

In 2004, it was a 22-3 stretch starting in mid-August that entrenched Boston in playoff position.

Should the current Sox, who entered last night’s game against the Rangers tied with the Yankees for first in the AL East, unleash another such stretch to close out this month, it could well ensure a second division title in the past five seasons.


And like an approaching weather system you might have heard about, all the conditions appear favorable for a deluge of Sox dominance.

MVP candidate Jacoby Ellsbury returned to the Red Sox lineup Tuesday after missing three games with a bad back. David Ortiz returned last night after missing nine games with bursitis in his right heel.

And though the man himself never missed a game, Adrian Gonzalez’s power stroke finally returned to good health Tuesday, when he hit two homers in an 11-5 victory.?They were his first blasts in August after going his previous 84 at-bats without any — and 39 games with just one.

“I’ve been feeling better lately,” Gonzalez said. “That’s my swing.

“If I can stay with that, that’s when I’m going well. Hopefully I can continue that.”

Gonzalez entered last night’s game with 20 homers and 97 RBIs. Even without the power, his bat has remained potent, leading the majors with a .346 average.

Latest From ...