Much like the September sun, Boston's season is setting early in the west.
The Red Sox seek to avoid a seventh consecutive loss on a miserable road trip Labor Day afternoon when they visit a last-place Seattle Mariners club currently thriving by comparison.
A year after the 7-20 September collapse that left them one game out of a playoff spot, the Red Sox (62-73) appear to have checked out on 2012 a month sooner. Boston posted a 9-20 record in August to drop out of serious postseason contention, culminating in Friday's 20-2 shellacking in Oakland.
The Red Sox then opened the first days of meteorological Autumn in similar fashion, dropping the final two games of their series against the Athletics by a combined 13-3.
Boston, which was cumulatively outscored 16-0 in the first three innings of the three Oakland games, has dropped six straight for the first time this season after enduring three other five-game skids.
"We're really not doing anything well,'' said second baseman Dusti...