This is not about just one man. It may look that may when the games begin and Alfonso Soriano treats opposing pitchers like uniformed piñatas. But Soriano is the most obvious symbol of the Yankees’ sudden offensive transformation a group that pushed around the Red Sox in a 10-3 series-opening victory on Friday at Fenway Park.

Soriano walloped a three-run homer to render the game a laugher in the third inning. In the last four games Soriano drove in 18 runs. That ties the MLB record according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Others to accomplish this feat include Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.

But Soriano wasn’t the only Yankee (63-58) to contribute. New addition Mark Reynolds jacked a two-run shot in his first at-bat with the team. Andy Pettitte turned in a quality outing 6 2/3 innings of three-run baseball (all the runs were unearned). For a team requiring extended period of excellence to make a run at October the combination was necessary.

A few hours before the game Alex Rodriguez captured the urgency of the moment. “We’re in the middle of a pennant race” he said. “For us this is our playoffs. Our playoffs start tonight.”

The Yankees spent three wearying days here a little less than a month ago. They lost two out of three including an exhausting four-hour 46-minute affair on a Sunday night. The team did not hit a homer during the series.

That outcome appeared unlikely heading into this weekend. The Yankees’ offense has suddenly been revitalized by the addition of players like Soriano Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson. “It’s a different lineup that we’re running out” manager Joe Girardi said.

That weekend in July the Yankees also did not have Reynolds. He did not hit a home run in his last 68 at-bats as a Cleveland Indian a power outage that caused the team to dump him earlier this month. In his first at-bat as a Yankee he hooked an 0-2 changeup over the Green Monster for a two-run shot.