Travis Hafner's two-run homer sent the game into extra innings and his sacrifice fly in the 11th gave Cleveland the lead as the Indians held on for a 7-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome.
With Minnesota leading 5-3 in the ninth, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a ground-rule double off closer Joe Nathan with two outs. Hafner then belted a tremendous home run to straight away center to tie things up and send the game into extras.
After neither team scored in the 10th, Cleveland won it in the 11th inning. Julio DePaula opened the frame by walking Franklin Gutierrez. Casey Blake moved him to second on a sacrifice bunt and Grady Sizemore was intentionally walked. An infield single by Cabrera loaded the bases and Hafner followed with a sac-fly to center to give the Tribe a 6-5 lead. A run-scoring double by Victor Martinez gave Cleveland some breathing room heading into the bottom of the inning.
Joe Borowski worked around a two-out single by Jason Bartlett to close out the victory for the Tribe and pick up his 40th save.
Hafner also homered in the first and ended with four RBI for the Indians, who lead Detroit by seven games in the American League Central. The Tigers lost to Chicago earlier on Tuesday.
"I've felt pretty good up there lately," said Hafner. "I am taking a day to day approach and it is a lot of fun playing in a pennant race and I'm just trying to have fun."
Kenny Lofton doubled, tripled, scored and knocked in a run for Cleveland, which has won 10 of its last 11 games.
Aaron Laffey started for Cleveland and was tagged for five runs on six hits in just four frames. The win went to Rafael Betancourt (4-0), who tossed two scoreless innings of relief.
Justin Morneau went 3-for-5 with a three-run double while Luis Rodriguez added three hits with a run scored and RBI for the Twins, who have lost three straight and seven of their last nine.
Minnesota rookie starter Kevin Slowey went five innings, allowing two runs -- one earned -- on five hits to go along with three strikeouts and no walks. The loss went to DePaula (0-1) while Nathan blew his third save of the season.
Cleveland jumped out to an early lead after Hafner belted a two-out, solo home run to deep right in the first inning.
The Indians added a run in the second to make it 2-0 as Lofton tripled and scored on Gutierrez's slow roller down the third-base line that Rodriguez couldn't handle.
Minnesota got on the board in the bottom of the second on Jason Kubel's RBI double and then jumped in front in the third after Morneau smacked a bases- loaded double to deep center that gave the home team a 4-2 advantage.
Minnesota went up three runs in the fourth on Rodriguez's single up the middle with two outs that plated Kubel, who doubled and advanced to third on Chris Heintz's fly out to right.
In the sixth, the Tribe pulled within 5-3 after Lofton doubled in Jhonny Peralta, who walked prior to Lofton stepping up to the plate.