By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — That was ugly. And painful. And damaging. (And more than a little embarrassing.)

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Entering this week’s three-games-in-two-days series in the Bronx, the Red Sox sat in the top wild card spot in the AL. They’re now outside of the playoff picture, with the Yankees having taken their spot. Any way you look at the three straight losses in New York, it’s not pretty.

“We got beat. We got beat in every aspect of the game,” manager Alex Cora said. “I mean, they pitched better than us, they hit better than us, they played better defense than us. It’s that simple.”

Cora’s not kidding.

The starting pitching trio of Nick Pivetta, Nathan Eovaldi, and Tanner Houck combined to pitch 10.2 innings, allowing eight earned runs. On the other side, the trio of Jordan Montgomery, Luis Gil, and Andrew Heaney allowed four earned runs over 16.1 innings.

That included a dominant performance from Heaney on Wednesday night. The left-hander had struggled mightily in his first three starts as a Yankee, 15 runs over 15 innings in three starts. He was touched for seven earned runs against the White Sox last week.

But the Red Sox were mystified by Heaney, who allowed just one run and two hits over seven innings of work.

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“There were some good at-bats, and there were some empty at-bats. That’s the bottom line,” Cora said. “There were some really good at-bats, and then there were some empty ones. To produce at this level, you’ve gotta keep the line moving, and you gotta walk, and you gotta go deep into counts, and you gotta recognize what’s going on in the game. And I’m not saying that’s not our case. The guys are watching. But we haven’t been able to make adjustments.”

Cora added: “It’s one of those that you felt it’s a 4-1 game, and you’re just a walk and a single and a blast from tying the game, but we weren’t able to put at-bats in a row.”

As a team, the Red Sox hit just .233 as a team during the series, getting shut out in the nightcap on Tuesday and scoring one run in the first and ninth inning on Wednesday.

It was, as  Cora noted, a little bit of everything. In the first game of Tuesday’s double-header, the bullpen collapsed. In the nightcap, the offense was nonexistent. On Wednesday, Pivetta couldn’t make it out of the second inning, and the offense was baffled by Heaney.

The only  positive for the Red Sox at this point in time is the upcoming schedule. The last-place Texas Rangers (42-78) head to Fenway this weekend, followed by the 54-67 Minnesota Twins. (They do have to be careful with Texas though, as the Rangers are 3-1 vs. the Red Sox this year.) The Red Sox will then wrap a pair of three-game series against 58-61 Cleveland around a Rays series, thus giving Boston a lengthened opportunity to stack some wins and stabilize their operation a bit.

“We know where we’re at. We put ourselves in this situation,” Cora said. “Regardless of what happened the last month or whatever it is, we still control our own destiny, right?”

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While adding some wins and remaining in the playoff race matters on paper, a rapid three-game sweep like the one that took place in the Bronx over the past two days works to make those other wins seem a bit meaningless. The Red Sox have been trending in an awful direction since the weekend of the trade deadline, losing 14 of their last 20 games, including five losses to Tampa Bay, four losses to Toronto, and now three losses to the Yankees. They’re losing games that they need to win, dissipating outside hopes and belief that an unlikely run through October could be on tap this fall.