Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, left, and pitching coach John Farrell, center, pay starting pitcher Clay Buchholz, right, a visit on the mound during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Wednesday, July 22, 2009. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

The Boston Red Sox were hoping last night that Clay Buchholz would help them put to the 4-game losing streak to bed with a win. Unfortunately though, the bats decided to stay on their vacation and didn’t give Buchholz or the bullpen any runs to work with in the 3-1 loss to the Texas Rangers.

The losing streak for the Red Sox is now at 5 games and they find themselves two back of the New York Yankees in the AL East standings. The Tampa Bay Rays are now just 3.5 games behind the Red Sox. If it’s any consolation, the Red Sox lead the wild card standings by 2.5 games over the Rangers.

The starting pitchers have taken the losses during the 5-game losing streak but you can’t really place the blame entirely on them. Sure Brad Penny and John Smoltz are struggling but when the offense isn’t giving you any run support, you aren’t going to win games.

The bullpen which was struggling before the All-Star break hasn’t allowed a run in 14 IP.

Just about everyone on the Red Sox is in a funk right now. During the 1-5 road trip, the team hit just .192. When you’re hitting just .192, you aren’t going to win ballgames unless the starting pitching is absolutely perfect. They scored just 13 runs, 4 of them coming in the only win of the trip.

While the trade for Adam LaRoche could help the Red Sox out, after thinking about it, I don’t see him as the answer to the problems. Victor Martinez could be an answer but the Red Sox have already ruled out a trade for him as the Indians asked for Buchholz. Maybe the Red Sox can move someone to the Washington Nationals for Adam Dunn or Nick Johnson. Who knows?

I can say this. It’s going to be an interesting 8 days up here in Red Sox Nation. Let’s just hope this off day and the return to Fenway Park snaps the team out of it. Otherwise, it’s going to be a long summer (can i call it summer when it’s rained and barely been sunny).

Swinging and missing [Boston Globe]

Sox’ offensive drought ruins Buchholz’ homecoming [Providence Journal]

Silent Red Sox swept away [Boston Herald]

Kotsay may be left as the odd man out [Boston Globe]

Some Sox wonder where they fit in now that Adam LaRoche is on the team [Providence Journal]

Adam LaRoche deal baby step [Boston Herald]

This sets the stage for something big [Boston Globe]

Epstein: LaRoche will provide offense against righties and depth at the infield corners [Providence Journal]

Getting a body for Lugo [Boston Herald]

Drew frustrated by slump [Boston Globe]

Opponents continue to run wild on Sox [Providence Journal]

Comfort of Fenway beckons for Sox []

Mike Lowell’s hip to how trade affects him [Boston Herald]

Highs….and Lows [Hit and Run With Dan Roche]

Buchholz disappointed by four-inning outing [Providence Journal]

Rice ready to receive due at Hall induction []

Clay Buchholz comes up a pitch short [Boston Herald]

Bucco Thoughts On Adam LaRoche [Center Field]

Thanks to Youkilis [Tony Massarotti]

0-for-22 slump ‘not easy’ for Drew to take [Providence Journal]

The Jim Rice Retrospective 1978 [Boston Herald]

Five Things We Learned: What Has — and Hasn’t — Changed For the Red Sox [Rob Bradford –]

Spiral Of Doom [Center Field]

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 your flavor, you can check out the Dallas Morning News and Ft. Worth Star-Telegram websites.