Cleveland, OH – Lonnie Chisenhall's run-scoring single in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the Cleveland Indians over the Detroit Tigers, 7-6, in the finale of a three-game series.
Holding a 6-5 lead, the Tigers sent Jose Valverde to the mound in the ninth. Jason Kipnis led off with a double to center and scored two batters later on Carlos Santana's triple to right. Don Kelly almost made a great leaping catch against the wall on the play. Michael Brantley and Ezequiel Carrera were intentionally walked to load the bases. Chisenhall's single to right-center field plated the game-winning run.
"You have got to get the ball into the outfield right there," Chisenhall said. "They weren't walking guys to get to me I'd like to think. They were just trying to get the bases loaded and have a force out."
Santana, Chisenhall and Shin-Soo Choo had two RBI apiece for the Indians, who bounced back after losing the first two games of the series. Russ Canzler went 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored.
Cleveland starter Ubaldo Jimenez allowed three runs -- two earned -- on five hits over six innings. Esmil Rogers (2-3) tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up the win.
Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run homer for the Tigers, who trail the White Sox by two games for the top spot in the AL Central. Brennan Boesch and Delmon Young each had an RBI.
Detroit starter Rick Porcello gave up four runs -- two earned -- on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings. Valverde (3-3) suffered his fifth blown save of the season.
"It's frustrating, especially at this time of year," Porcello said. "These are high-intensity games as far as how much they mean. We're right there in this race."
Boesch stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the first inning. He hit a slow chopper back to Jimenez, whose throw to first was off the mark. A pair of runs scored on the play.
Detroit tacked on another run in the third after Cabrera doubled and scored on Young's single to right.
But the Indians scored two runs in the fourth and fifth to take the lead. Canzler led off the fourth with a single and moved to third on Jack Hannahan's double. Choo's two-run single cut the gap to 3-2.
Cleveland put runners on the corners with one out in the fifth. Canzler hit an RBI single that deflected off Porcello's glove. Chisenhall's run-scoring fielder's choice gave the home team a 4-3 edge.
Santana's RBI single in the sixth made it a 5-3 contest.
But the Tigers responded with three runs in the seventh to go back in front. Omar Infante and Andy Dirks singled before Cabrera homered to left, making it a 6-5 game.
Cleveland won the season series by a 10-8 margin ... Porcello hasn't won since Aug. 7 against the New York Yankees ... Jimenez's last win came on Aug. 9 versus Boston ... Detroit catcher Alex Avila left the game in the sixth after a collision with teammate Prince Fielder. The two Tigers were trying to catch a foul ball hit by Santana ... Tigers manager Jim Leyland was ejected from the game in the fifth after a dispute with first-base umpire Brian Knight.