After Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera tied the game with a two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning, the Indians rallied to score the game-winning run in the bottom half of the inning when left fielder Aaron Cunningham laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to score pinch runner Lou Marson.
Travis Hafner put the run in scoring position with a one-out triple which led manager Manny Acta to pinch run Marson and go for the lead while he had the chance. The key run salvaged a strong outing from starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez who scattered seven hits in six scoreless innings of work. Acta may have been too quick to pull Jiminez which was followed by Cabrera's home run off of reliever Joe Smith, but his gutsy call in the bottom of the seventh at least preserved the win.
Johnny Damon and Carlos Santana also added run-scoring singles in the second and fourth innings, respectively.
Smith (6-2) ended up with the win on the mound while Chris Perez locked down his 28th save of the season by retiring the Tigers in order in the top of the ninth. Detroit pitcher Doug Fister took a tough-luck loss to move to 4-7 and break a personal three-game winning streak.
The win drew the Indians closer to the Central Division leading Tigers, now trailing by three games with two left to play in the current series.