Winslow Townson, Associated Press
Cleveland Indians' Asdrubal Cabrera slides into home safely on a single by Jamey Carroll during the fifth inning against Boston.

BOSTON — For one night, at least, Jensen Lewis didn't have to watch the Red Sox celebrate again.

Lewis struck out Jed Lowrie with runners on second and third in the ninth inning, preserving the Cleveland Indians' 4-3 win Monday in their first game in Boston since the Red Sox beat them in the AL championship series last year.

Lewis' solid relief work, rookie Zach Jackson's six effective innings and a bizarre play involving the third base umpire forced the Red Sox to wait at least one more day to clinch their fifth postseason trip in six years.

"It was just kind of reminiscent of last year," Lewis said. "Our feelings are still pretty fresh."

The Indians blew a 3-1 lead in the ALCS last season and lost the seventh game 11-2.

"For most of us, this is probably an emotional series because of what happened last year," Lewis said.

The Indians won their seventh straight game and will send Cliff Lee (22-2) to the mound Tuesday night against Tim Wakefield (9-11).

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.

Cleveland has the second-best record in the AL since July 10 and wants to finish strong, no matter how it affects the playoff race.

"We've been keeping the focus on ourselves," manager Eric Wedge said. "One opportunity missed or one mistake made and that's really going to be the ballgame."

Jackson (1-3) allowed two runs and six hits. Josh Beckett (12-10) hit a career-high three batters, threw a wild pitch, walked one and said he wasn't worried about clinching a playoff spot.

"We're just trying to win games," he said.

The Red Sox wasted chances in three of the last four innings, losing a run when a ball hit an umpire, missing a three-run homer when Kevin Youkilis' drive hit the left-field wall a few feet from the top and stranding two runners in the ninth when Lewis earned his 12th save in 13 chances.

"Tons of opportunities," Jason Bay said. "For some reason, it seemed like it wasn't going to go for us."

With Cleveland ahead 4-2, Boston had runners at first and second with two outs in the sixth.

Jeff Bailey then lined the ball inside third base. Umpire Gerry Davis signaled it was fair, but the ball hit him and stopped just beyond the infield dirt. Third baseman Jamey Carroll picked it up, and Bay, who had rounded third, was caught in a rundown and tagged out.

American League

RAYS 4, ORIOLES 2: At Baltimore, Jason Bartlett doubled in the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning, and Tampa Bay took another step toward its first AL East title. The victory reduced the Rays' magic number for winning the division crown to four after the Red Sox lost to the Indians. Any combination of Tampa Bay wins and Red Sox losses totaling four would make the Rays champions of the AL East. Tampa Bay has already clinched a playoff spot for the first time in franchise history.

ROYALS 6, TIGERS 2: At Detroit, David DeJesus went 4-for-4 and Mike Aviles drove in two runs to lead Kansas City to the win.

ATHLETICS 4, RANGERS 3 (11): At Arlington, Texas, Travis Buck hit an RBI single in the 11th inning and Oakland moved into second in the AL West. The Rangers, who lost their fifth straight game, forced extra innings when Hank Blalock led off the ninth with a homer.

ANGELS 2, MARINERS 1: At Seattle, Ervin Santana and Francisco Rodriguez combined for a five-hitter, Vladimir Guerrero homered and the Los Angeles Angels set a franchise record for road wins.

National League

PHILLIES 6, BRAVES 2: At Philadelphia, Pat Burrell hit a three-run homer in the eighth and the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves for their 10th win in 11 games. The Phillies reduced their magic number for clinching their second straight division title to four. Philadelphia's magic number for clinching a playoff berth is three. Kelly Johnson hit a two-run homer for the Braves, who helped the Phillies by winning two straight against the Mets over the weekend.

CUBS 9, METS 5: At New York, Jason Marquis became the second pitcher to hit a grand slam against the Mets this season, and Chicago clinched home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs while damaging New York's postseason chances. Struggling to avoid another late collapse, the Mets slipped 2 1/2 games behind first-place Philadelphia in the NL East and had their wild-card lead cut to one game over idle Milwaukee.

REDS 7, MARLINS 5: At Cincinnati, Joey Votto homered and doubled, helping the Reds rally from a four-run deficit and beat Florida in a makeup game. The loss dropped Florida five games behind New York in the NL wild-card race. Votto hit a go-ahead double during a six-run burst in the seventh inning. Jerry Hairston Jr. drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single to tie it, and pinch-hitter Andy Phillips later delivered a two-run single.

DIAMONDBACKS 4, CARDINALS 2: At St. Louis, Brandon Webb won his 22nd game and Stephen Drew homered to help Arizona creep closer in the NL West. Three weeks after hitting for the cycle against St. Louis right-hander Joe Pineiro, Drew came within a triple of another and drove in two runs. Conor Jackson had two hits and an RBI for the Diamondbacks, who have won seven of eight and are two games behind the idle Dodgers with six games to go.