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The Red Sox continue to sputter along, this time losing to the Kansas City Royals 9-3 last night at Fenway Park, as their AL East lead dropped to 8 games over the Yankees, who have won 8 of their last 10.

Jeff Horrigan has a look at an ugly night for Tim Wakefield and the Red Sox. Gordon Edes has the Sox going down with a whimper against the Royals. Joe McDonald looks at the Red Sox continuing to fall back to the pack with their lackluster play of late. Jeff Goldberg has some early hits going to waste for Tim Wakefield and the Red Sox. Lenny Megliola has Sox observing that they are not firing on all cylinders right now. Ron Chimelis notes that the Red Sox continue to have issues with young, obscure pitchers. Jennifer Tolandlooks at the Red Sox being unable to get anything going offensively last night.

Nick Cafardo assures us that it is not time to panic, despite the team’s 20-20 record since June 1st. Tony Massarotti has Red Sox players throwing their support behind the team re-signing Mike Lowell, something that management has thus far shown little interest in doing. Steven Krasner says that at some point an angry mob of pitchers is going to after Manny Ramirez for his habit of playing shallow in left field.

Sean McAdam says that we shouldn’t expect a shocking trade by the Red Sox at the trading deadline, but looks at some smaller possibilities. Massarotti looks at another strong night for Julio Lugo, who seems to finally be hitting his stride with the Red Sox. Amalie Benjamin looks at the recent struggles of Julian Tavarez, who tries to remain positive despite going 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA in his last four starts. Bob Halloran wonders if David Ortiz has lost his mojo.

Horrigan has the Royal reacting to the nearly flawless game thrown by Kason Gabbard on Monday night. Rob Bradford has Royals outfielder Reggie Sanders saying that he would not be opposed to a trade to the Red Sox. Mike Petraglia has more on Sanders. Sarah Green has a fear of the trading deadline. Bradford also looks at Royals shortstop Tony Pena Jr., who entered last night having gone 219 plate appearances without a walk.

Kevin Gray looks at another top Red Sox pitching prospect, Michael Bowden, matching up with a top Toronto prospect in Manchester last night, and coming out on top. Brendan McGair says that PawSox fans could see both Curt Schilling and Clay Buchholz on Saturday. Joe Haggerty has more on Buchholz.

Horrigan’s notebook has Manager Terry Francona OK with Manny Ramirez playing shallow in left, even if it did cost the team last night. Edes’s notebook has the Red Sox hoping that their recent power surge is the start of a trend and not a fluke. The Projo notebook leads with more on Lugo heating up offensively. Goldberg’s notebook says that Manny might’ve become far too comfortable playing shallow in left. Chimelis’ notebook has Jon Lester continuing to bide his time in the minors. Toland’s notebook has more on Lugo’s bat coming to life.

Douglas Flynn has the Bruins attempting to bolster their front line with a trade for Peter Schaefer. Kevin Paul Dupont and Mick Colageo also weigh in on the deal.

Mike Reiss looks at options at cornerback for the Patriots should Asante Samuel choose to sit out. The Metro has Stephen Gostkowski glad not to be a rookie anymore.