Forget catching the Yankees for the AL East crown.

 

At this point, the Red Sox simply need to make sure they get into the playoffs.

 

Boston lost again today, as Tampa Bay completed a three-game sweep with a 9-1 drubbing down south.

 

The Rays entered the series all but out of postseason contention. But their dominance at Tropicana Field has Tampa Bay just 3.5 games behind the second-place Sox for the AL wild card.

 

Boston has 16 games left in the regular season; the Rays have 17.

 

The Sox have Monday off, then play two against Toronto before starting an all-important four-game series against Tampa Bay at Fenway Park.