The Red Sox look to take sole possession of the lead in the AL wild-card race as they open a three-game series with the Blue Jays at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox lost 5-4 to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, falling into a tie with Texas for the wild-card lead. The Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6-2 on Sunday, and the Anaheim Angels, who are less than a percentage point behind Texas and Boston, beat Detroit 3-2.
The loss spoiled Boston’s hopes of winning its season-high fourth consecutive series, and moving a season-best 14 games above .500.
The Red Sox stranded 11 runners and failed to capitalize on a shaky outing from Chicago starter Mark Buehrle.
“We’re playing good baseball,” Boston catcher Jason Varitek said. “They had the breaks at the right times and the big hit at the right time. I’ll take the way we played. We made one mistake and it cost us two runs, but I’ll take my chances with the same guys on the field, same guys on the mound and the same situations.”
The Red Sox have for the most part been alternating wins and losses since the All-Star break. They fell to 4-3 on their 10-game homestand with Sunday’s loss, and are 16-14 in the second half.
“There’s still a lot of baseball to play,” Boston outfielder Dave Roberts said. “We’re still right there in the wild card. It’s just a matter of clicking on all cylinders.
“I think the effort’s there, and I think that’s the main thing. You get a bunch of talented guys together who can pitch and play defense and swing the bats and, with the effort that we’ve been giving, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”
The Blue Jays are 1-5 at Fenway this season, and have not won a season series from the Red Sox since 2000, going 26-44 against Boston during that span.
Toronto lost 11-7 to the streaking Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, dropping its 10th in 12 games. Carlos Delgado hit a three-run homer for the Blue Jays, who allowed eight runs in the eighth—a season high for an inning this season.