Sox, Rays Fit To Be Tied

Ortiz and the Red Sox are back to square one.

They're fit to be tied. With a 6-3 loss Monday night against the Baltimore Orioles, the free-falling Red Sox fell into a tie with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL wild-card spot.

On Sept. 1, the Sox held a nine-game lead, but they're 6-19 in September.

"We still control our own destiny," said first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, a stray voice of confidence from an otherwise somber clubhouse.

"If we win two games and have to play a third, if we win, we're in the playoffs. We all have to be confident. Other people can doubt us, but we have to be confident."

The Red Sox haven't won back-to-back games since sweeping a doubleheader Aug. 27 against Oakland at Fenway Park. They haven't won on consecutive days since Aug. 24-25 in Texas.

"There's not much to say," manager Terry Francona said. "We've backed ourselves about as far as we can go. Hopefully we can come out and play a nice, crisp game."

Said Dustin Pedroia, "I don't know. I'm positive. I think I'm going to get a hit every time. I'm going to make every play. Everyone around here thinks that."

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