Andre Thornton's three-run home run completed a four-run ninth-inning rally by Cleveland off Detroit relief ace Willie Hernandez at Tiger Stadium.
Hernandez (7-7) relieved Walt Terrell to begin the ninth and allowed a single to pinch hitter Benny Ayala and walked pinch hitter Carmen Castillo. Julio Franco singled to left to score Ayala and move Castillo to third. Thornton followed with his 11th homer, into the upper deck in left field.
Hernandez, who did not retire a batter before leaving, has been tagged for 11 home runs this year in 85 innings. In winning the American League's Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards last year, Hernandez allowed six homers in 140 innings.
Tigers Manager Sparky Anderson refused to criticize Hernandez.
"I would hope you don't throw somebody down that's played as long as he has," Anderson said. "You're never going to have two years like that. No man could do that."
Rookie Nelson Simmons hit two homers for three RBI, while going four for four, and Darrell Evans hit his 27th homer, good for two runs, to stake Detroit to a 6-3 lead.
Curt Wardle (4-4) pitched one inning to gain the victory and Jerry Reed pitched the ninth for his second save.