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Red Sox lose eighth straight

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The defending champion Red Sox dropped Sunday night’s game to the Yankees 7-4, suffering a four-game series sweep in New York and extending their losing streak to eight consecutive games. They took the first three games of a four-game set at home with the Yankees, cutting their deficit in the AL East to seven games, but Sunday’s loss now has them 14.5 games behind the Yankees.

David Price lasted only 2 2/3 innings, on the hook for seven runs on nine hits and two walks with three strikeouts. The bulk of the damage came in a six-run third inning as Gio Urshela hit a two-run home run, Cameron Maybin hit an RBI double, Mike Ford knocked in a run with a single, and Mike Tauchman plated two with another single. Overall, the Red Sox were outscored 26-12 in the four-game series.

The Red Sox and Yankees will meet just one more time before the regular season ends for a four-game wraparound series September 6-9, so their opportunities to gain ground are becoming scarce.

To make matters worse, the Red Sox are also 6.5 games out of the second Wild Card slot in the AL, currently held by the Rays. The Red Sox suffered a three-game series sweep against the Rays prior to their just-completed series in the Bronx. If the Red Sox still have Wild Card aspirations, they will not only have to fend off the Indians (+2.0 games) and Rays, but the Athletics (-0.5 games) and Rangers (-7.0) as well.

Giants sign Drew Smyly to one-year deal

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The Giants announced on Thursday that the club inked pitcher Drew Smyly to a one-year contract. As Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area notes, the contract is of the major league variety.

Smyly, 30, split last season between the Rangers and Phillies with a stint with the Brewers in between. He did not appear in a major league game with the Brewers. In aggregate, Smyly posted a 6.24 ERA with 120 strikeouts and 55 walks over 114 innings.

Smyly will vie for a spot at the back of the Giants’ starting rotation. If he doesn’t make the cut, he could work out of the bullpen. Pitching in the spacious confines of Oracle Park should help Smyly, who gave up 19 homers in Texas and 13 in Philly last season in more hitter-friendly parks.