The Detroit Tigers extended their winning streak to four despite having a run disallowed during their last game.
They haven't had much offense to spare for Rick Porcello of late.
Porcello takes the mound Sunday seeking his first win in over a month as the visiting Tigers try for a three-game sweep of the woeful Cleveland Indians .
Miguel Cabrera hit his 37th homer and Anibal Sanchez took a no-hitter into the seventh inning Saturday as Detroit (77-67) officially eliminated Cleveland (60-86) from playoff contention with a 5-3 victory. The Tigers had a run taken off the board in the fifth inning when it was ruled on appeal that Alex Avila didn't touch third base before crossing home.
The Tigers didn't gain any ground in the AL Central but did stay one game in back of first-place Chicago, which beat Minnesota 5-3 on Saturday.
"It is what it is," manager Jim Leyland said. "We're still playing for pretty big stakes, just as they are."
Batting .284 during its winning streak - including a .395 mark with runners in scoring position - Detroit now tries to keep things going for Porcello (9-12, 4.59 ERA).
Porcello enters Sunday having lost a career-worst six consecutive starts, a stretch during which the Tigers have provided him with an average of 1.06 runs of support.
The right-hander suffered his career high-tying 12th defeat Monday in a 6-1 road loss to the White Sox. He carried a shutout into the six inning before coming undone following a costly Tigers error.
"When you get in a tough situation like that, you've got to bear down and find something within to get out of those jams," said Porcello, who allowed four runs - three earned. "I wasn't able to do that."
Porcello went 4-0 with a 2.10 ERA over his first five starts in this series before posting a 5.29 mark while going 1-3 in his last nine. He's given up a combined eight runs over 11 innings in losing both his matchups versus Cleveland this year.
Taking the mound opposite Porcello is Ubaldo Jimenez (9-16, 5.52), the major league leader in losses. The right-hander is 1-9 with a 7.13 ERA over his last 12 outings and finds himself on the verge of losing a career-worst fifth consecutive start.
Jimenez is trying to avoid becoming the first Indians pitcher to lose 17 games since Tom Candiotti went 7-18 in 1987. He surrendered five runs - two earned - and four walks over five innings Tuesday in a 6-4 loss at Texas.
"As a player, you're never going to think like that, that you're going to have a season like this," Jimenez told the team's official website. "You're always going to think positive and be optimistic. But it's happened."
Jimenez has compiled a 7.11 ERA in losing his last two matchups against Detroit.
Hitting .163 with runners in scoring position during a 1-7 skid, Cleveland is an AL-worst 16-45 since the All-Star break.
"It's been a trying season," Saturday's losing pitcher Justin Masterson said. "This has been a testament to our season in general with things that can get out of hand."
|September 11, 2012||Ryan Raburn||15-Day DL||Strained right quadriceps|
|August 23, 2012||Doug Fister||Day-to-Day||Tightness in right groin|
|August 23, 2012||Miguel Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right ankle soreness|
|August 01, 2012||Ryan Raburn||15-Day DL||Sprained right thumb|
|August 01, 2012||Ryan Raburn||15-Day DL||Sprained right thumb|
|July 07, 2012||Drew Smyly||15-Day DL||Right intercostal strain|
|September 15, 2012||Jason Donald||Day-to-Day||Right forearm contusion|
|September 13, 2012||Michael Brantley||Day-to-Day||Sore left pectoral muscle|
|September 09, 2012||Asdrubal Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right wrist|
|August 27, 2012||Roberto Hernandez||Day-to-Day||Left game - sprained right ankle|
|August 13, 2012||Josh Tomlin||60-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|August 13, 2012||Jason Kipnis||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers lost their manager, catcher and a crucial game in the AL Central race.
Now, the Tigers are hoping to quickly rebound from their sour Sunday after twice blowing leads to the Cleveland Indians .
Lonnie Chisenhall singled in the winning run with one out in the ninth inning to give Cleveland a 7-6 win - the Indians' first at home when trailing after eight innings in more than a year.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland was ejected and catcher Alex Avila hurt in a collision with Prince Fielder as Detroit dropped two games back in the AL Central. The Tigers go to Chicago to face the first-place White Sox on Monday.
"It was a good comeback," Leyland said. "There wasn't anything cheap about it. It was a heck of a ballgame. Give them credit. That's the way it goes. Turn the page and move on."
Before the game, Leyland said the makeup of Thursday's rainout with the White Sox would be huge since it is the last meeting between the rivals.
It is even bigger for the Tigers after Cleveland's comeback.
Jason Kipnis doubled off Jose Valverde (3-3) and scored the tying run on a one-out triple by Carlos Santana . Right fielder Don Kelly nearly made a leaping catch, but the ball dropped as he crashed into the wall.
Valverde then intentionally walked both Michael Brantley and Ezequiel Carrera to face Chisenhall, who lined the first pitch to right-center.
"You've got to get the ball to the outfield there," Chisenhall said. "They weren't walking guys to get to me, I'd like to think. They were trying to get the bases loaded and have the force out.
"It's definitely exciting. You like to win games like that."
Esmil Rogers (2-1) pitched one inning for Cleveland, an AL-worst 17-45 since the All-Star break, and just 11-37 since July 26.
Miguel Cabrera , with visiting Detroit fans chanting "MVP! MVP!" hit a three-run homer in the seventh to put the Tigers ahead 6-5. Cabrera connected off Joe Smith for a 402-foot drive.
But Valverde got his fifth blown save in 36 chances as he worked for the third day in a row.
"We were asking a lot of Valverde," Leyland said. "He had better velocity than he had the last couple of nights. We talked to him before the game and he said he was good to go."
Valverde credited the Indians.
"I made good pitches, but they hit them," he said. "I want to be perfect, but I am not. Now, let's go to Chicago and win."
Cleveland scored two unearned runs in the fifth for a 4-3 lead after trailing 3-0. Leyland got tossed for arguing the play that put the Indians ahead.
With the score tied at 3, first-base umpire Brian Knight ruled shortstop Jhonny Peralta 's throw trying for an inning-ending double play was too late as Brantley scored from third base.
First baseman Prince Fielder hopped off the bag and yelled and Leyland came out to disagree. Cabrera was restrained by other umps from going across the diamond from his third base position to join in.
Earlier in the inning, Leyland disputed a call by Knight that also kept Detroit from turning a double play.
"They were unbelievable bang-bang plays," Leyland said. "At this time of year with the importance, you get a little more excited. Obviously, I thought they were out. The umpire saw it differently."
Avila left in the sixth after colliding with Fielder. Avila was about to catch Santana's foul pop along the warning track in front of Detroit's dugout when Fielder, listed at 275 pounds, ran into him. The ball dropped and so did Avila.
"It looked like a knockout punch," Leyland said. "The elbow got him in the jaw."
Leyland said trainers told him Avila has a sprained jaw, no concussion, and could possibly play Monday. Leyland said he likely was going to rest Avila anyway against White Sox lefty Jose Quintana .
Given new life, Santana got an RBI single on another questionable call by Knight. With Asdrubal Cabrera on second, Santana hit a grounder between third and short that Miguel Cabrera snared with a dive. His high throw from his knees pulled Fielder off the bag, but the first baseman tagged Santana. Knight ruled safe as Asdrubal Cabrera kept running and scored.
Fielder and acting manager Lloyd McClendon both protested.
"It was a weird game," Tigers starter Rick Porcello said. "Whether we get those calls or not is tough to say. It was frustrating, but you have to deal with it and push on."
Detroit took a 2-0 lead in the first off Ubaldo Jimenez . Both runs scored as Brennan Boesch was safe with a bases-loaded infield single when Jimenez fielded his slow tapper, but threw low and late to first for an error.
Cleveland loaded the bases on three walks in the first, but Porcello got Russ Canzler to hit the ball back to him and made the play for the third out.
Delmon Young , hitting .167 (5 of 30) in the Tigers' previous eight games, hit an RBI single to make it 3-0 in the third.
Porcello gave up three hits in the fourth as Cleveland got within 3-2. Shin-Soo Choo's two-run bloop single to left drove in Canzler, who had singled and came after a two-out double by Jack Hannahan .
NOTES: Cleveland won the season series, 10-8. ... Tigers CF Austin Jackson was a late scratch because of a sore left knee. He got hurt trying to make a catch Saturday when he ran into the center-field fence. "I definitely anticipate playing (Monday)," Jackson said. "We'll see. It hurt too much today." ... Peralta played his 73rd straight game without an error, longest streak by a Tigers shortstop since at least 1957. Eddie Brinkman had a 72-game streak in 1972. ... Miguel Cabrera has hit .369 (7 of 19) with 2 homers and 7 RBIs off Smith. ... Jimenez, 1-9 in 13 starts since the All-Star break, still has a 9-16 record and avoided becoming the first Indians pitcher to lose 17 games since Tom Candiotti went 7-18 in 1987. ... Indians 1B Matt LaPorta was twice shaken up after crashing into a railing while trying to catch foul popups in the same at-bat by Tigers 2B Omar Infante in the ninth. He stayed in the game.