Lee allowed four hits over eight shutout innings and Cleveland beat the Detroit Tigers 6-1 on Tuesday night to move to within a half-game of first-place New York in the AL wild-card race.
Detroit scored in the ninth, its first run in 27 innings, to avoid its third consecutive shutout. The Tigers have lost six in a row.
"It's time for the troops to dig a little deeper here. We get to find out what we're made of," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "We've hit pretty much a low point in the season for me, and there's no pity party."
Lee (15-4) won his sixth consecutive decision, walking two and striking out four as he had the Tigers off balance throughout the game.
"Things went pretty good for me," Lee said. "They didn't score and I can't complain about that."
Detroit could only manage two hits by Magglio Ordonez, a two-out single in the first and a leadoff double in the fourth, a single by Dmitri Young in the sixth and a single by Placido Polanco leading off the eighth.
"I located my fastball," Lee said. "I didn't have a good grip on it, but I was locating it well. They started looking for the fastball and I started throwing changeups."
Ordonez' first-inning single followed a walk to Ivan Rodriguez and gave the Tigers runners on first and second with two outs. But Lee induced Young to foul out to end the inning.
Lee retired the next three batters after Ordonez's fourth-inning double.
Young's single in the sixth gave Detroit runners on first and second with two outs, after Rodriguez reached on an error by Boone at third base.
But Lee struck out Craig Monroe looking to end that threat and retired the next three batters after Polanco's single in the eighth.
Jason Johnson (7-12) gave up two runs and five hits in six innings, walking two and striking out two.
"I don't know if we're running out of gas. I can't explain it," Johnson said. "It's just one of those things where we're kind of in a rut right now. Our starters had a rough couple weeks, and I feel like our starters are really starting to come back and pitch well again. The hitters are having a little rough week now, too."
Crisp put Cleveland ahead 2-0 in the third with his two-out, two-run homer, his 11th of the season.
"Coco has been really stepping up in big situations," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "... He has no fear."
Boone led off the seventh with his 13th homer of the season, off Franklyn German, to make it 3-0.
Sizemore added a three-run homer in the eighth, off Craig Dingman, his 17th of the season.
"That's what you play for," Sizemore said of the wild-card race. "You play all year in a lot of games. This is the spot you play for."
- Rodriguez's walk in the first inning was only his seventh of the season and first since July 26.
- Cleveland 2B Ronnie Belliard recorded his first triple of the season in the second inning.
- Ordonez is 7-for-12 lifetime against Lee.
- Home plate umpire Bill Hohn ejected two fans during the eighth inning for swearing at Trammell.