Juan Encarnacion drove in the winning run, yet a bigger play might have been Kenny Lofton's base-running mistake last night.
Encarnacion singled home the winner with one out in the 10th inning, lifting the Tigers to a 4-3 victory over Cleveland in Detroit. The AL Central champion Indians lost for the sixth time in seven games and fell a half-game behind idle New York in the race for the league's best record. The Yankees took three of four from the Indians last weekend in Cleveland.
The Tigers' Todd Jones (4-4) blew his fifth save chance, giving up the tying run in the Cleveland ninth. Omar Vizquel led off with a single and scored on Lofton's pinch-hit double.
Lofton took third on Brad Ausmus's passed ball, but the catcher then threw out Lofton when he took a wide turn around the bag.
"It was a reaction play," Ausmus said. "The ball got by me and headed for the backstop. I've seen Kenny try to take two bases before, so it was in the back of my mind.
"When I saw him go by the base, I threw the ball. It probably was a big play, because Kenny is one of the best base runners in baseball."
Lofton was miffed when asked about the mistake.
"That wasn't the only thing that happened in that inning," he said, angrily. "I'm tired of all that negative stuff. Write that."
David Riske (1-1), Cleveland's sixth pitcher, walked Tony Clark to open the 10th. Riske then fielded Palmer's bunt but threw high to second for an error.
One out later, Encarnacion lined a 1-1 pitch to right, scoring pinch runner Gregg Jefferies.
This was the start of the final homestand at Tiger Stadium, which was opened in 1912. After four games with the Indians, the Tigers will host Kansas City for four, playing the final game at Michigan and Trumbull next Monday. The team will move to Comerica Park, about a mile away, next season.
ROYALS 10, MARINERS 9: In Seattle, Ken Griffey Jr. hit his AL-leading 46th homer, but Kansas City hit four home runs in rallying for the victory.
Rey Sanchez was 4 for 4 with four runs scored, and Mark Quinn homered twice. Carlos Beltran and Joe Vitiello also homered for the Royals, who out-hit the Mariners 15-9. Griffey was 3 for 5, with four RBI and three runs scored.
TWINS 4, ATHLETICS 0: Jason Ryan (1-2) took a shutout into the seventh inning to earn his first major league victory and Oakland's playoff hopes faded some more with a loss to Minnesota Twins.
Before 6,512, Oakland's second-smallest home crowd this season, the A's dropped five games behind idle Boston in the AL wild-card race. Oakland has 13 games remaining.
ANGELS 10, DEVIL RAYS 5: Darin Erstad and Jim Edmonds each drove in three runs for Anaheim against visiting Tampa Bay. Erstad and Garret Anderson homered to help the Angels end a four-game losing streak.