There is no joy in Mudville.


The Red Sox coughed up another game to the lowly Mariners yesterday, dropping a 4-2 decision despite carrying a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth.


Combined with the Yankees’ 12-6 victory over the Royals, the loss knocks the Sox eight games out of the AL East lead.


It gets worse.


Tampa Bay beat Cleveland 4-2 yesterday, extending their wild-card lead to five games over Boston. The Sox are now closer to third-place Minnesota than they are to the Rays.

Boston is just 3-4 so far on its West Coast trip, which continues tonight in Anaheim. They’ve put together just one two-game winning streak since the All-Star break.

The Sox are back home Friday.