It's hard not to categorize Boston's weekend in Seattle as a disappointment. Two losses in four games to a team batting around the Mendoza line with a 34-47 record? Excusable given the role of Felix Hernandez in their first loss, but still a difficult pill to swallow when you consider all their wasted opportunities in the third game.
Still, thanks to some good luck, the Sox were able to enter this week in a better position.
On June 27, the Sox were down 6.5 games in the East, 1.5 games back of the Orioles, and even with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Today? They're still 6.5 back of the Yankees, but just half-a-game back of the Orioles and their coveted wild card spot, and one game up on the Rays. Even the Angels are still just two games ahead.
As bad as a weekend as it was for the Red Sox, it wasn't exactly a party for the rest of the American League's contenders either. The Rays ran into a resurgent Tigers team pushing to get back to .500, scoring just 11 runs in losing three-of-four.The Orioles have dropped seven-of-ten, their most recent struggles coming against an Indians team that scored 36 runs in their four games. Meanwhile the Angels and Blue Jays played to a stalemate, as did the New York Yankees and White Sox.
The Sox certainly had it easiest competition wise, so maybe it's to be expected that they came out ahead on the whole. Still, with a West Coast trip always a battle, that they've done more than simply survive is a very big positive. If they can take a couple from the Athletics before heading home, they should be in good position for their four games against the Yankees.