It's panic time in Boston, where Pedro Martinez is still hurt and the Red Sox are falling 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.
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