With the AL East lead disappearing onto the horizon and hopes of a wild card bid fading fast, the Red Sox had at least hoped to play spoilers to their most bitter rivals in a three-game set at Yankee Stadium. But New York took two out of three behind eight solo home runs in the series, allowing the Yankees to maintain a five game lead on Tampa Bay for the AL East lead while the Sox slipped to 13.5 back.
The good news for Boston is that the return of David Ortiz, who had turned back the clock by leading the team by hitting .312 with 23 homers, is nearing return from his Achilles injury. But before he gets back, Carl Crawford, one of the team's more productive hitters, will likely opt to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery to relieve a nagging elbow problem, seeing as his services will be more useful next season, when the Red Sox will be in contention for a playoff spot, than this year, when they seem destined to miss the postseason for a third straight year.
AL East Standings
Boston is still an outsider for a wild card slot, 7.5 games back of the Baltimore Orioles for the second spot. Stranger things have happened - see; the end of the 2011 season for Boston - but with the Sox shutting down Crawford and the ever-present clubhouse strife surrounding Bobby Valentine, it appears the organization isn't too hopeful in their odds. Losing a series to the O's this past week didn't help their chances, either.
American League Wild Card Standings
|Tampa Bay||67||54||.553||0||Won 4|
|Los Angeles||62||60||.508||5.5||Lost 4|
|Kansas City||54||66||.450||12.5||Won 3|
(updated 8.20.2012 at 9:33 AM CDT)