CLEVELAND - APRIL 30: Rafael Perez #53 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after completing an inning against the Detroit Tigers during the game on April 30, 2011 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Tigers Vs. Indians: Another Night, Another Walkoff For Tribe

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Tigers Vs. Indians: Another Night, Another Walkoff For Tribe

Saturday night, the Detroit Tigers lost to the Cleveland Indians.

Saturday, the Chicago White Sox lost.

Saturday, the Minnesota Twins lost.

The Tigers, the White Sox and the Twins were supposed to engage in a tripartite battle this season for the American League Central championship.

The 18-8 Indians now lead the Tigers by 6-1/2 games, and the White Sox and Twins by nine games apiece.

The Indians also sport the best run differential in the major leagues, and we're approaching the point at which they'll have to be taken seriously. As something other than a fluky product of small sample size. As a team that might simply be a lot better than we expected.

Saturday's win was an ordinary sort of win only by the Indians' standards. Friday night, they beat the Tigers with Carlos Santana's grand slam in the bottom of the ninth. Saturday night, they beat the Tigers with Orlando Cabrera's bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 13th.

Detroit got on the board first, when Miguel Cabrera and Ryan Raburn both hit fourth-inning solo homers against rookie Alex White, making his major-league debut. That would be it, though, for the Tigers, as White and five relievers combined for nine shutout innings.

Meanwhile, in the bottom of the fourth inning, Carlos Santana halved the Tigers' lead with a home run; two innings later, Michael Brantley erased the lead with his own solo shot. And that's where the score remained, 2-2, until the bottom of the 13th.

Brantley led off with a single, and went to second on Brayan Villareal's wild pickoff throw. After Brantley moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, Tigers manager Jim Leyland ordered two intentional walks to load the bases. And with the infielders and outfielders drawn in, Orlando Cabrera lifted a fly ball to deep center field that dropped for a game-winning single, Brantley trotting home for yet another celebration deep in the Forest City night.

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