What may be their last chance starts Friday night with a series at the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins.
Chicago right-hander Reynaldo Lopez pitched a one-hitter against the Indians on Thursday for his first big league complete game, a 7-1 win that gave the White Sox a split of the four-game series.
Cleveland lost for the fifth time in seven games and dropped 6 1/2 games behind the AL Central-leading Twins and one back of Oakland for the second AL wild card. Tampa Bay is a half-game ahead of the Athletics.
"You'd love to have momentum," Kipnis said. "You'd love to be gaining ground every single time out. That doesn't lessen the importance of the series coming up and lessen the intensity we'll bring. We'll have to pick ourselves up from this game and forget it real fast."
Seeking their fourth straight division title, the Indians won three of four at Minnesota from Aug. 8-11 and took a half-game lead following a victory over Boston the following day. Cleveland is 9-13 since and headed to Minnesota without third baseman Jose Ramirez for the remainder of the regular season because of a broken hand.
"We've got to go in there thinking we're going to win the games. Otherwise what are we doing?" Kipnis said. "You give Minnesota credit, too. They've gotten hot and played a little better baseball than we have since that series. If we want to play into October and play as a playoff baseball team, we've got to start playing like it."
Lopez struck out 11, walked three, retired his final 16 batters and threw 109 pitches. He pounded his right fist into his glove when he struck out Franmil Reyes to end the game.
Lopez was appreciative that White Sox manager Rick Renteria gave him the opportunity to get 27 outs.
"I was very excited when Ricky let me go out for the ninth," he said. "When you have a game like that, you want to finish it."
Last Saturday against Atlanta, Lopez gave up six runs over two-thirds of an inning in his shortest big league outing.
Welington Castillo hit a two-run homer in the second off Zach Plesac (7-6), who allowed six runs in five-plus innings. The rookie right-hander was removed with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth.
Castillo homered after shortstop Francisco Lindor lost Yoan Moncada's popup in the sun. Lindor drifted into shallow left field but appeared to never pick up the ball, which dropped a couple feet away for a single.
Castillo followed with his ninth homer and added an RBI groundout in the ninth. Sanchez had an RBI single in the fourth and drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth from Wood, who had just entered.
Renteria will undergo surgery on his right rotator cuff Friday in Chicago and miss the weekend series against the visiting Los Angeles Angels.
Renteria plans to return to the dugout early next week. Bench coach Joe McEwing will run the team in Renteria's absence.
"I do intend to play again this year," Renteria joked.
Indians: OF Yasiel Puig had the day off. "He's kind of beat up," manager Terry Francona said. "I thought it'd be really good for him to take a deep breath."
White Sox: RHP Lucas Giolito (14-8, 3.30 ERA), a first-time All-Star, starts as Chicago begins a six-game homestand.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
Former Kansas City Royals owner David Glass dies at 84
David Glass, who bought the Kansas City Royals in 2000, died last week at the age of 84, the team announced. Under Glass' ownership, the team reached the World Series in 2014 and won the title in 2015.
Rockies to retire Larry Walker's jersey on April 19
The Rockies will retire Larry Walker's No. 33 jersey on April 19, joining Todd Helton (17) as the only players to be so honored by the team.
Jack McDowell says Tony La Russa had sign-stealing system with White Sox in '80s
Former White Sox pitcher Jack McDowell, who never played for Tony La Russa, said a camera-aided sign-stealing system was set up by the Hall of Fame manager prior to his being fired, and that was used after McDowell made his debut in 1987.
Onley: Mets, Red Sox, Astros will have no problem replacing managers
Buster Onley breaks down the potential managerial candidates for the Mets, Red Sox and Astros after the sign-stealing scandal fallout.
Stephen A.: MLB should take away Astros' World Series trophy
Stephen A. Smith emphatically calls for the MLB to confiscate the Astros' World Series trophy and take the players' championship rings for their sign-stealing scandal.
Source: MLB ineligible list ends at death for banned players
Major League Baseball has no hold on banned players after they die, a source told ESPN, which could be significant when it comes to Hall of Fame consideration for "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and others who were banned for life and have since died.