Oakland Athletics defeat Boston Red Sox, 12-3

Signs of attrition, along with plenty of Matt Clement sliders and cutters, hung in the September air yesterday.

Edgar Renteria (he's hitting .169 this month) was nowhere to be seen, asked to sit and rest by his manager for the second time in five days. The offense, one that leads Major League Baseball in average, hits, walks, on-base percentage, and runs, managed only three runs, and 10 runs total in this four-game series split with Oakland. The Sox, in fact scored thre...

It's hard to look at the Red Sox' tenuous playoff position, just 1 1/2 games up on the Yankees with two weeks left, with envy. Most teams, certainly, would rather be the Cardinals, with their spot in the postseason already locked up. Or the Braves or Padres, both ahead by at least four games in their divisions.

But the Athletics likely would be happy enough to grab that 1 1/2-game cushion. Because, after all, Oakland's not leading anybody.

They're trailing the Angels...