Kansas City Royals defeat Boston Red Sox, 8-6

It’s hardly the end of the world when on a crisp July night with a Northern California feel, the Red Sox lose sole possession of first place in the American League East for the first time since June 23 by virtue of an 8-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Fenway.

From the moment the Sox took the field last night they knew their exclusivity was at stake after the red-hot Yankees completed a sweep of the Twins in Minneapolis yesterday. However, with the Royals (12 games u...

The heat around the bullpen is getting so heavy, the responses so flustered, some Red Sox are starting to make euphemisms for the banal.

“On that 3-2 count, I got what I wanted,’’ said Justin Masterson. “But the ball happened to fall where nobody was.’’

Here it is, simpler: Ryan Freel got a hit. A bloop hit, but a hit nonetheless. And an RBI. The Royals got five runs, in fact, off the Boston bullpen in last night’s 8-6 victory.

Masterson, ever affable, beat down a...