More and more, any chance the Red Sox had at making a late dash at the AL East crown seems to be coming to an end.
Zack Greinke vs. Paul Byrd didn't look too promising for the Sox, and Greinke lived up to his billing. He held the Red Sox to just two hits in six innings for his 16th win, and he looks more like this season's Cy Young Award winner.
Byrd on the other hand got hit for five first-inning runs, walked two batters (I thought he didn't walk anyone?) and put the Red Sox in a 5-0 hole they couldn't climb out of. The only blessing was that Byrd settled down after that and took the Red Sox into the seventh inning, this saving Terry Francona the agony of having to blow out the bullpen early. (Byrd actually pitched longer than Greinke did.)
The Red Sox avoided the shutout in the eighth, when Victor Martinez drove in a run on an RBI groundout. He also extended his hitting streak to 21 games.
Texas lost in Oakland, and the Red Sox Magic Number for a playoff berth is now at 6. New York won in Anaheim and cliched a playoff berth, and the Red Sox are now 6 back in the East with 12 to play.
Josh Beckett tonight and Clay Buchholz tomorrow will try to get the Red Sox a split in this four-game series against a Royals team making it tough on the visitors.