Suddenly, there’s another American League Central team cracking under the pressure.
And for the Cleveland Indians, it’s happening at the worst time possible.
Tampa Bay’s Seth McClung pitched eight shutout innings as the Devil Rays defeated Cleveland, 1-0, on Wednesday night at Cleveland, dropping the Indians three games behind the first-place White Sox with four to play.
McClung (7-11) gave up only four hits and allowed only two runners to reach second base while outpitching Cliff Lee (18-5) and handing the Indians their third lost in a row -- the team’s first three-game slide since being swept by the Devil Rays on Aug. 12-14.
Despite the loss, the Indians stayed tied for the wild-card lead with Boston, which lost to Toronto.
“It’s still in our hands,” said Lee, who lost for the first time since July 8. “It’s just going to be a little tougher.”
Toronto 7, Boston 2 -- Bronson Arroyo (14-10) gave up three homers and all seven runs for host Boston, which dropped one game behind New York in the AL East with four games remaining.
Frank Catalanotto doubled, tripled and homered for the Blue Jays, who won their second in a row over the Red Sox.
“We’ll try to wipe this one away as quickly as possible. I only threw 79 pitches, so I feel like I’ll be healthy for the Yankees,” Arroyo said, referring to this weekend’s series against New York at Fenway Park. “You always hope for the opportunity. So, we’ll see.”
Vernon Wells and Eric Hinske also homered, and Ted Lilly (10-11) gave up two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings to improve to 3-0 against the Red Sox.
Chicago 8, Detroit 2 -- Jose Contreras (15-7) won his eighth consecutive start and Scott Podsednik had four hits at Detroit and the White Sox moved within a victory of clinching no worse than a wild-card berth in the playoffs.
The White Sox lowered their magic number to two for clinching their first division title since 2000.
Chicago, which had lost its previous two games, led the AL Central by 15 games on Aug. 1.
Jacque Jones hit a go-ahead triple in a three-run eighth to lead Minnesota to a 6-3 victory over Kansas City at Minneapolis. It was the Royals’ 104th loss, tying a team record.... Chris Young survived a shaky first inning and went on to match the Texas rookie record with his 12th victory in the Rangers’ 7-3 victory over host Seattle.