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Sox enter week in search of winning formula

Farrell seeking better focus after Boston drops 6th straight

BOSTON -- The last two Sundays have been strikingly different at Fenway Park. One week ago, the Red Sox were celebrating a thrilling comeback against the Oakland Athletics, hoping it would provide the elusive spark.

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Almost unfathomably, the Red Sox haven't won a game since. Sunday's 13-5 loss to the scalding-hot Blue Jays was one of the ugliest of the season, and it extended Boston's losing streak to six games.

In this one, there were multiple popups lost in the sun, miscommunication on who was fielding certain plays, and Hanley Ramirez getting doubled off second base when the Red Sox had the bases loaded.

How can Boston get more fundamentally sound?

"That has to be through anticipation of the given play. We get doubled off in a bases-loaded situation in the first inning," said manager John Farrell. "A head-high line drive, you are schooled to fight and do what you can to get back safely. That didn't happen. When you monitor the preparation and at-bats inside a given game, I don't see at-bats being given away. I don't see us dogging it in any way. Things aren't going our way, I know that."

Video: [email protected]: Donaldson catches liner, doubles off Ramirez

At 27-37, the last-place Red Sox are eight games behind the Yankees in the American League East.

More than paying attention to the grim reality of the standings, the Red Sox know that they need to start playing better.

"Today, we got beat up," Farrell said. "Looking back at the energy inside the game, the energy is there. We didn't handle every ball cleanly. That goes without saying."

"We get a ball that's an aggressive call-off by [Alejandro De Aza] coming in from right field where [Xander Bogaerts] is camped under it. It opens up the door for a couple of more consecutive hits in a four-run inning. It's a 10-run hole that we're in.

"We're not in a good place right now as a team. It's not because we're not giving effort. We're not executing completely."

Video: [email protected]: Red Sox, Blue Jays have trouble under sun

Across the diamond, the Red Sox could only look on with envy at the Blue Jays, who have won 11 in a row.

"Nobody wants to be losing, and losing on a daily basis like this is no fun," Bogaerts said. "We just have to come back here tomorrow and try and do the best we can. Hopefully we can go on a run like them."

The Braves come to Fenway for a two-game set, beginning on Monday night. Then the Red Sox head out on a five-game trip to Atlanta and Kansas City.

Yet again, the Red Sox start another week hoping that things will turn around.

"It goes back to everyone focusing on the job they have at hand, and that starts from the moment we walk into the clubhouse to the work that we do pregame," Farrell said.

Following the game, nearly every member of Boston's starting nine had vacated the clubhouse quickly before speaking with reporters. It's doubtful anyone was in a talkative mood.

"There's an upset clubhouse," Farrell said. "There's a group of guys that are coming in every day with the thought that we had a chance to get on a little bit of a run, get on a little bit of a winning streak, and yet it's not taken place. There's not guys hanging their heads before the day starts. Now there's frustration when it doesn't play out for one reason or another during a given game, but this is a group that has had success and yet we're not experiencing it right now."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.
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