The Red Sox have proven they can win as frontrunners. But now that we know they won’t be going wire-to-wire atop the American League East, it’s time to see if they’re mentally tough.

They’re currently experiencing their first bout with adversity, though it’s by no means paralyzing.

They’ve placed two closers on the disabled list, endured scrutiny of Clay Buchholz’ skincare choices, and defended David Ortiz against a columnist’s suggestion that he’s using steroids.

They’ve also concurrently lost 6-of-7, including a 5-3 setback to the Twins last night that swung on John Lackey’s throwing error.

The Red Sox are being tested, but if they think this is real adversity, they may as well just forfeit the rest of the season, because this barely registers as a blip on the EKG, particularly when compared to the trials of their division rivals.

The Yankees opened with over half a billion dollars worth of talent on the disabled list. They then watched a number of their replacements succumb to injury. But even without Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Curtis Granderson — not to mention Kevin Youkilis, Francisco Cervelli and Joba Chamberlain — the New Yorkers have found a way to claim a percentage-point lead in the division.

Typical of their early efforts: they won a one-run game this week at Colorado with their pitcher batting eighth and Gold Glove outfielder Vernon Wells playing third base for the first time in his life and recording a key out in the ninth inning.

That’s adversity and a half, and the Yankees haven’t wilted. Can the Red Sox do the same?

“It’s the big leagues,” noted second baseman Dustin Pedroia. “Everybody’s good. We’re going to have to try to find a way to get that big hit or come up in a big situation and find a way to get it done. We’ll do that.”