Sox’s ‘best game’ of series still ends in ‘L’

ST. PETERSBURG — For the Red Sox, a lost weekend at Tropicana Field was capped by a 3-2 loss to the Rays on Sunday Night Baseball in which their pitching settled down but their recent offensive woes continued.

The sweep left Boston with a season-long four-game losing streak heading into Monday’s off-day in Detroit.

This off-day is better-timed than most.

The Sox, who have lost five of their last six and are 8-11 since July 10, look like a team that needs a day to regroup.

They look like a team that needs to reclaim the main part of their identity — which is a relentless offense.

“Tough one,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. “We didn’t do much offensively. Today was our best game [of the weekend]. That’s more like it. They scored three runs. We had traffic. We didn’t push them to the plate, but overall, I’m pleased with this game.”

Though it was a tense, competitive and entertaining game between two top teams, the Red Sox looked completely out of sorts offensively.

Over the first eight innings, Boston went 0-for-16 with runners on base.

When a rally in the top of the ninth fell just short, the Sox finished 1-for-18.

“I feel like we’ve had a lot of guys on base, we’ve had a lot of opportunities. We just can’t get that hit,” said slumping slugger J.D. Martinez. “That seems to be the common thing right now.…

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