Chicago held a three-game lead over Detroit in the American League Central as late as Sept. 18. But the White Sox are just 3-10 since that date, surrendering the division lead to the Tigers in the process.
Monday saw the stake officially put through Chicago's playoff hopes. The South Siders took care of their own business with an 11-0 series-opening win over Cleveland, but couldn't prevent a division-clinching win by Detroit over Kansas City.
The White Sox stood in first place for 117 days during the season, but they won't be participating in the postseason.
"We weren't good enough the last few weeks, it's as simple as that," right-hander Jake Peavy said. "It's a shame you play the way we did for the majority of the season and have it come down to where you don't play well late."
With nothing left to look forward to but the 2013 season, Gavin Floyd will take the mound in the regular-season finale. Floyd has been mostly solid over the second half of the season, going 7-4 with a 3.42 ERA in his last 15 starts.
But the right-hander did struggle in his only other start against Cleveland this season. Floyd yielded five runs on 10 hits over five innings against the Indians on May 27.
Opposing Floyd will be southpaw David Huff, who is coming off two strong starts. He allowed three runs on eight hits over six innings against the Royals on Sept. 28, helping Sandy Alomar Jr. record his first win as the Indians' interim manager.
"He told me before the game, 'Hey, this is my first game managing. Don't disappoint me,'" Huff said. "I was like, 'OK, no pressure.' It was good. I'm glad we ended up winning tonight and getting him the 'W.'"
White Sox: Konerko set for surgery Thursday
Paul Konerko will have surgery on Thursday to remove a floating bone fragment in his left wrist. Konerko has been bothered by it since 2008. The first baseman first mentioned the possibility of surgery as early as June 6 when he missed a game to have the fragment flushed to a less painful area. He missed two games last season after having the same procedure.
"The sooner the better," he said. "It was going to be the day after the season, whether it be this Thursday or we made the playoffs. It was going to be as quick as we could whenever the season ended. I think they had some dates scheduled, kind of tentatively, so that's what's going to happen."
After not having a day off since Aug. 8 and playing in 50 straight games, Alex Rios did not play on Tuesday and is not expected to play Wednesday. Rios bounced back from a disappointing 2011 to set career highs in batting (.304), home runs (25), and RBIs (91) in 157 games.
Indians: Hafner's final game?
Travis Hafner only saw action in Tuesday's game as a pinch-hitter -- hitting a two-run, game-tying homer in the ninth -- but is slated to start on Wednesday in what could be his final game with the Indians. Cleveland owns a $13 million club option on Hafner's contract for 2013, but is expected to pay him a $2.75 million buyout instead. The 35-year-old said he is open to returning to the Indians, but it would probably only come in the form of a new, reduced contract.
"It's a possibility," he said. "There's a lot of uncertainties right now. I haven't talked to anybody. The organization, I've been here so long and a lot of these guys are like family. I've really enjoyed playing in this city and the fans have been great. I've had a great time here."
Shin-Soo Choo went 1-for-5 in Tuesday's game, matching his career-high hit streak at 12 games, which he first accomplished from Aug. 24-Sept. 8, 2008. Choo is hitting .373 (19-for-51) with six doubles and 11 RBIs during his current streak.
Cleveland's win on Tuesday was its 1,000th all-time against the White Sox.
The Indians can match a season high with their third straight series victory by winning Wednesday's game.