NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Boston Red Sox starter Jon Lester was practically giving it away at Fenway Park.

But the Yankees, tied again atop the AL East after Tuesday night’s 4-3 loss, couldn’t take advantage of Lester’s career-high seven walks.

The same team that insisted there was no panic earlier this month now has only 21 games to get it together if they have any hope of holding on.

“We win a game, we lose a game, we win a game, we lose a game,” said shortstop Derek Jeter. “That’s pretty much it.”

The loss and Baltimore’s win over Tampa Bay left the Yankees and Orioles tied for the division lead with 79-62 records. New York hasn’t won consecutive games since a three-game winning streak Aug. 13-15.

“We need to string together some wins,” said Jeter. “That’s the bottom line.”

Some much-needed help is on the way. Andy Pettitte, the veteran left-handed starter, proven in the New York pressure cooker, is scheduled to throw in a simulated game Wednesday.

He’s trying to work his way back into the rotation after breaking his left ankle on June 28. Pettitte hopes to throw about 60 pitches.

Manager Joe Girardi said it’s “conceivable” the next step for Pettitte could be a 75- to 80-pitch outing for the Yankees.

“I think there’s a chance. It’s just a matter of what they want to do,” said Pettitte, according to the New York Daily News. “As far as I’m concerned, I feel like I would be ready. I want to. I want to go ahead and just pitch, try to help. Obviously it’s not up to me.”

Will the Yankees hold on — or will Jeter be hitting the links this October? Be heard in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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