Sam Deduno #21 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates after safely getting out of the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox during the game on August 2, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

It’s time to face facts. The Boston Red Sox are probably no better than a .500 team.

They started July at their high point of five games above .500 only to lose their next five games to drop back to that mark. Over the rest of the month, they got no higher than three games above it. And since then, they continue to hover around the mark.

They had won four straight games before the Detroit Tigers took the finale two nights ago. Then last night, the Red Sox looked completely lost as a relative unknown pitcher Samuel Deduno shutdown the Red Sox in a 5-0 win for the Minnesota Twins.

With that loss, the Red Sox are now three games below .500 at home (27-30). That’s just not going to cut the Fenway Frank mustard, especially when the Fens used to give the home team a big advantage. It appears those days are gone.

In his short time in the big leagues Deduno has developed a reputation of walking people. He walked Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez back-to-back in the 1st only to see Cody Ross pop out to shortstop.

It took until the 5th inning for the Red Sox to get a hit off of him and that came on a Gonzalez double. After a Ross pop out (again), Deduno walked Ryan Lavarnway but Will Middlebrooks flew out to center. In the 6th, Gonzalez picked up the second hit of the game with a single that was followed by a walk to Ross. But Deduno recovered and got Lavarnway to fly out.

Those would be the last two baserunners the Red Sox would have over the final three innings as the Twins bullpen shut them down.

Jon Lester started this one for the Red Sox and took the loss. I didn’t think he pitched all that badly.

His cutter is back that’s for sure. And with his cutter back, it makes him all the much better as he can now mix in his cutter with his fastball. For most of the season, those two pitches have looked the same and that’s been the result of his struggles.

While this loss doesn’t signify the end of the season for the Red Sox, they need to play better against competition that is inferior record wise. The Twins entered the game 16 games below .500. And given how much talent the Red Sox have that shouldn’t happened.

With the trade deadline passing, there’s not much the Red Sox can do. They certainly have missed David Ortiz over the past two weeks. And it doesn’t look like he’s returning for at least a few more days. So for now, they’ll need to make the best of it. And by best of it, not the effort they gave last night.

We’ll be back later with today’s lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day. So for now, let’s take at look at the overnight links from the media by clicking on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.

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Great unknown [boston globe]

Lowe would welcome return assignment [boston globe]

Ortiz takes positive steps [boston globe]

Sox can do nothing vs. lowly Twins [boston herald]

Bobby Valentine smells a rat in clubhouse [boston herald]

David Ortiz, Josh Beckett stay out [boston herald]

Alex Wilson adjusts well to relief effort [boston herald]

Hard-luck loss for Jon Lester [boston herald]

Sox get blanked by Twins, 5-0 [csn new england]

Ortiz: ‘I don’t want to have any setbacks’ [csn new england]

Pedroia: ‘Jon pitched great — we stunk’ [csn new england]

Sarcastic comment to Middlebrooks haunts Valentine [csn new england]

First Pitch: Magadan says Red Sox hitters need better approach [csn new england]

Rapid Reaction: Twins 5, Red Sox 0 [espn boston]

Jon Lester slowly figuring things out for Boston Red Sox [espn boston]

Bobby V: ‘Nice inning, kid’ got me a talking to [espn boston]

Closing Time: Red Sox bats go silent in loss to Twins [full count]

Jon Lester: ‘I took a lot of positives from tonight’ [full count]

Bobby Valentine just adding to Red Sox dysfunction [tony massarotti – boston globe]

Jon Lester’s Resurgence Far More Crucial Than Red Sox’ Frustrating Fall Back to .500 []

Red Sox Drop Opener to Twins, Must Rebound and Continue to Take Advantage of Lesser Teams []

Former Red Sox starter Lowe on Boston’s radar []

Lavarnway makes 2012 debut against Twins []

Bailey scheduled for second rehab outing Friday []

Beckett questionable for Sunday’s start []

Ortiz likely to return after Twins series []

When selling move to bullpen, Walker, Kipper speak from experience []

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

And if you must check out the enemy news, be sure to head over to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press websites. You can also check out our Bloguin brother, Twins Target.

Follow Ian on Twitter @soxanddawgs. And be sure to like us on Facebook as well.

photo credit: getty images