Indians left fielder Ben Francisco, left, and center fielder Grady Sizemore can’t get to a double by Red Sox’s David Ortiz during the first inning in Boston on Monday.AP photo
BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox will have to wait at least one more day to clinch their fifth postseason trip in six years.
Rookie Zach Jackson pitched six solid innings and the Cleveland Indians beat Josh Beckett and the Red Sox 4-3 on Monday night with the help of a bizarre play involving the third base umpire.
Beckett (12-10) struggled with his control, hitting a career-worst three batters, throwing a wild pitch and walking in a run.
Boston had a chance to win in the ninth when Kevin Youkilis singled with two outs and took third on Jason Bay’s double. But Jed Lowrie struck out on three pitches against Jensen Lewis, who got his 12th save in 13 opportunities.
The Red Sox, with six games left, fell 2 1/2 games behind AL East leader Tampa Bay, which beat Baltimore 4-2. Boston reached the playoffs as a wild-card team three times in four years before winning the AL East last season.
The Red Sox needed a win to eliminate the New York Yankees and lock up a postseason berth in pursuit of their second straight World Series title and third in five years. They had threats in the sixth and seventh, but both fell short as the Indians won their seventh straight game.
DETROIT — David DeJesus went 4-for-4 and Mike Aviles drove in two runs as Kansas City beat the reeling Tigers.
The Tigers were minus suspended slugger Gary Sheffield, then lost star Miguel Cabrera in the third inning because of a tight back. Cabrera was listed as day-to-day.
BALTIMORE — Jason Bartlett doubled in the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning, and Tampa Bay took another step toward its first AL East title by beating Baltimore.
The victory reduced the Rays’ magic number for winning the division crown to five, pending the result of Boston’s game against Cleveland. Any combination of Tampa Bay wins and Red Sox losses totaling five would make the Rays champions of the AL East.