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Stumbling Sox lose to Indians

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It's panic time in Boston, where Pedro Martinez is still hurt and the Red Sox are fading like leaves in a New England autumn.

Jim Thome homered twice and Juan Gonzalez drove in three runs as the Cleveland Indians sent the reeling Red Sox to their ninth straight loss, 8-5 Tuesday.

"It's terribly frustrating," Boston's Scott Hatteberg said. "We've come so far and put ourselves in a good position to make a move, and we're just not doing it."

The Red Sox, on their longest skid since June 1994, remained a season-high 9 1/2 behind the Yankees in the AL East. The last seven losses have been against division leaders Cleveland and New York. Boston's next six games are against them.

"We knew we had our work cut out for us in our series of games with these guys," Red Sox manager Joe Kerrigan said. "Did I foresee us losing this many games? No. Nobody in that clubhouse did."

Thome's 44th homer gave Cleveland a 1-0 lead in the second against Hideo Nomo (11-7), winless in seven starts since July 26.

At Boston, Bartolo Colon (12-10) allowed four runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings, and Bob Wickman got his 29th save.

Cleveland, five games behind Minnesota on July 16, opened a season-high seven-game lead in the AL Central

"Our offense has carried us the whole season, but our starting pitching is finally coming around for us," Wickman said.

RANGERS 6, TWINS 5: Gabe Kapler hit a two-run double in the ninth off LaTroy Hawkins (1-5), who has blown eight of 36 save chances.

Mike Venafro (5-4) allowed one run and one hit in two innings to win at Texas.

BLUE JAYS 14, YANKEES 0: Chris Carpenter (9-11) pitched a six-hitter for his second shutout of the season, and rookie Felipe Lopez homered twice and drove in a career-high five runs.

Toronto matched a season high with 17 hits, including Jose Cruz Jr.'s ninth homer against the Yankees this year.

DEVIL RAYS 8, MARINERS 3: A night after Seattle become the first team to clinch a playoff spot, Kazuhiro Sasaki couldn't hold a 2-1 lead in the ninth, allowing an RBI single to Brett Abernathy.

ATHLETICS 5, ORIOLES 2:Eric Chavez hit a three-run homer off Jason Johnson (10-11) — his fifth home run in four games against visiting Baltimore — and Barry Zito (12-8) won his fourth straight start. Oakland has won nine of 10, opening a 9 1/2-game lead in the wild card race.

ROYALS 4, ANGELS 1:Jeff Suppan (9-11) didn't allow a hit until Scott Spiezio singled past a diving third baseman Joe Randa with two outs in the seventh.

WHITE SOX 10-4, TIGERS 1-0: Sean Lowe (7-4) and four relievers combined on a four-hitter, and Magglio Ordonez hit a two-run homer as Chicago completed a doubleheader sweep.

Mark Buehrle (13-7) allowed four hits in eight innings in the opener, and Royce Clayton, Jose Valentin, Paul Konerko and Jeff Liefer homered.