Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, right, is congratulated by teammates Kevin Youkilis, center, and Jason Bay (44) after hitting a two-run home run off  Kansas City Royals starter Luke Hochevar during the first inning of a baseball game in Boston, Thursday July 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Today we should be talking about David Ortiz and the fact that he hit the 300th home run of his career last night that put the Boston Red Sox out front 3-0 in the first inning. Instead, we are talking about the bullpen meltdown for the local nine that helped give the Kansas City Royals an 8-6 win.

Brad Penny gave the Red Sox his typical outing of 5 innings and allowing 3 runs. He turned it over to the bullpen with a 1-run lead only to find it gone at the end of the 6th.

With all of the talk that the Red Sox need a bat in case Mike Lowell doesn’t return to form, why isn’t there any talk for some bullpen help. It is quite conceivable that Manny Delcarmen could be moved for bat but who takes his place.

The Red Sox bullpen really has been one of the best in baseball but lately they have brought the suck. It seems like on a different night, it is someone different. Last night it was Delcarmen and Justin Masterson’s turn as they combined to allow four runs. Masterson actually allowed the inherited runners of MDC’s to score as well.

Commenter Mitch Mullins made a great point the other day. Why doesn’t Daniel Bard have an increased role in the bullpen yet. With Takashi Saito being mediocre as of late and Ramon Ramirez struggling at times, why isn’t Bard pitching in different spots. He came in last night and bailed Ramirez, who did pitch decently, out and then worked a perfect 9th inning to give the Red Sox a chance to comeback.

The worst part of that loss last night, besides the bullpen fail, is the fact that the Red Sox are now tied for first in the AL East with their hated rivals to the south. No one wants to see the New York Yankees head into the All-Star break in first place and having the utmost confidence as they go forward.

Royal Blues [Boston Globe]

Red Sox Blow 4-0 Lead In Loss To Royals [Hartford Courant]

No relief for reeling Sox [Providence Journal]

Comeback story ’penned [Boston Herald]

Pen fails to close deal [Boston Globe]

Lowell Give Hip A Workout [Hartford Courant]

Ortiz joins 300-homer club [Providence Journal]

David Ortiz’ 300th part of recent surge [Boston Herald]

Lowell is progressing [Boston Globe]

Red Sox journal: Pedroia may skip All-Star Game to be with his wife, who remains hospitalized [Providence Journal]

Penny for Your Thoughts? [Boston Dirt Dogs]

Dustin Pedroia could miss All-Star Game [Boston Herald]

Lowrie at 100 percent, aiming for July 18 return [Full Count]

Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox show no concerns [Boston Herald]

Halladay’s available, but will Red Sox bite? [Providence Journal]

Friday Nuggetpalooza! [Nuggetpalooza]

John Smoltz makes pitch [Boston Herald]

Halladay’s not worth the price [Providence Journal]

Okajima rewarding Francona’s patience []

Brad Penny won’t blame bullpen [Boston Herald]

For more slices of Boston Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and Providence Journal websites.

And if the enemy papers are more you flavor, you can check out the Kansas City Star and Topeka Capital-Journal websites.