Mark Kotsay is tagged out at the plate by Boston catcher Jason Varitek as he tried to score from first base on a Carlos Quentin double in the third inning. Plate umpire Mark Carlson makes the call. (Tom Cruze/Sun-Times)

Before we kick off the post here, I just want to take a quick moment to give a shout out to my father. Today is his 60th birthday. So Happy Birthday dad, hope today is a great one for you.

Twelve days ago at Fenway Park, the Boston Red Sox were finishing up taking 3-of-4 from the Chicago White Sox. Yesterday afternoon, the White Sox returned the favor by taking 3-of-4 from the Red Sox.

Luckily and unluckily for the Red Sox, the Tampa Bay Rays lost two games. The problem is that those two games were to the New York Yankees. The Red Sox lead over the Rays in the wild card is 7.5 games while the Red Sox trail the Yankees by nine games in the AL East standings. The Red Sox lead over the Texas Rangers in the wild card is 2.5 games.

Fifteen of the Red Sox’ remaining twenty-five games will be played at Fenway Park, a place where they have gone 45-21. They are three games below .500 on the road at 34-37. Their final road trip of the season has them playing three games in Baltimore, four games in Kansas City and three games in New York.

For the first time in what seems like ages, Josh Beckett threw the ball well. He had one bad inning in the third but other than that his fastball command returned. He did have a little trouble with his breaking ball but ultimately worked around that due to the his fastball command. It was also the first time in a while that Beckett didn’t give up any home runs.

Unfortunately for Beckett, the Red Sox offense couldn’t take advantage of Mark Buehrle when he gave them the opportunity. They had the bases loaded in the 5th inning but Buehrle got Victor Martinez to fly out to center.

The Red Sox also made a couple of more callups after the game last night. With the Pawtucket Red Sox ending their season, the Red Sox have recalled Jed Lowrie and catcher Dusty Brown.

Hopefully home cooking is just what the Red Sox need as they prepare for the stretch run. Clay Buchholz will be on the mound tonight against the Baltimore Orioles in a brief 2-game set.. He is two years removed from his no-hitter against the Orioles (something I’m sure we’ll hear a few hundred times during the telecast).

Beckett can’t lift Red Sox [Boston Globe]

Dancing knuckler [Boston Globe]

Where are they now? [Boston Globe]

It’s official: Another year for Beckett [Full Count]

Starting Pitching [Hit and Run with Dan Roche]

PawSox manager heading to Boston [Projo Sox Blog]

Wakefield’s courageous effort can’t salvage Sox [Providence Journal]

Red Sox journal: Francona still confident in Beckett [Providence Journal]

Five Things We Learned: Why Beckett Fell Short of Dominance [Alex Speier –]

Josh Beckett’s bad 3rd costs Red Sox [Boston Herald]

Concern grows over Wakefield [Boston Herald]

Clay Buchholz improves on learning curve [Boston Herald]

Terry Francona plans to work Tim Wakefield in fits and starts [Boston Herald]

Red Sox must be trippin’ [Boston Herald]

Sox need Beckett, Papi for deep run []

Williams’ No. 9 honored in ‘The Natural’ []

Sox looking to feast on home cooking []

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

And if the enemy papers are more your style you can check out the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune or the Arlington Daily-Herald websites.