|Cleveland (17-8) «||0||0||0||0||0||2||3||0||4||9||11||2|
CLEVELAND -- In 110 years, the Cleveland Indians have never enjoyed an April like this.
"Unbelievable," said shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, whose two-run homer in the seventh tied it at 5 and put the Indians in position to extend their home winning streak to 11 games.
|More on Tigers at Indians|
The Indians are an AL-best 17-8, surpassing 16 wins before May 1 for the first time in 111 years in the AL.
Santana and his teammates celebrated in rare fashion, too, after the switch-hitter drove a 3-1 pitch off Joaquin Benoit (0-1) over the right-field wall.
Santana flung his batting helmet high into the chilly air before leaping onto home plate and being engulfed by teammates, who could hardly wait for him to round the bases.
"I'm very excited," Santana said after his first career slam -- the seventh to end a game at Progressive Field and first since Jim Thome did it against Detroit in 2002.
Chris Perez (1-1) pitched one perfect inning for Cleveland's fourth straight win. The Indians are unbeaten at home since April 2 -- their longest streak there since winning 13 in a row in 1996.
"These guys are pulling for each other, everybody is contributing," manager Manny Acta said. "I don't remember the last time we scored against Benoit, but we did."
Benoit took the Tigers' fourth straight loss hard. Standing and staring at his locker, he turned to reporters and said, "Are you guys waiting for me? Keep waiting." He then walked away.
The Indians walked off with the improbable win after overcoming deficits of 3-0 and 5-2.
Jack Hannahan singled to start the winning rally and was replaced by pinch-runner Adam Everett. Grady Sizemore's line single to right sent Everett to third. During the at bat, Tigers manager Jim Leyland visited the mound to check on Benoit, who had a broken fingernail on his pitching hand clipped off by trainer Kevin Rand.
Benoit intentionally walked Cabrera and came back to strike out Shin-Soo Choo on three pitches before Santana delivered.
"I'm so happy for him because he's been struggling a bit," Cabrera said of Santana, who came to the plate hitting .183.
Matt LaPorta hit a solo homer off Tigers starter Max Scherzer to start the seventh. Later in the inning, Cabrera drove his two-run shot into the right-field seats on the first pitch after Leyland checked on Scherzer.
"He said he had plenty left," Leyland said. "I wanted to make sure he was all right. He's one of my horses. He deserved to be out there. The guy hit a home run.
"They're playing with a lot of energy right now. They're having a lot of fun. To their credit, you tip your cap to them."
Scherzer, seeking to become Detroit's first pitcher with five wins in April since Frank Tanana in 1988, had a two-hit shutout until two outs in the sixth.
Cabrera then singled, and walks to Choo and Santana loaded the bases. Shelley Duncan, the DH in place of Travis Hafner, grounded a two-run single between third and short to get the Indians within 3-2.
"A huge hit there," Acta said. "We had to chip away, chip away and Duncan came through."
Hafner missed his second straight game because of a sore right ankle. The lefty slugger is hitting .342 with four homers in 21 games and is 6 for 10 with a homer and three RBI in his career against Scherzer.
Cabrera had two hits and twice flew out to deep center as he continued to pound Indians pitching. Since joining the Tigers in 2008, he is hitting .332 with 14 homers and 47 RBI in 53 games against Cleveland.
Alex Avila put Detroit ahead 3-0 with a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
After the Indians rallied in the sixth, the Tigers restored their three-run lead in the seventh on an RBI single by Jhonny Peralta and another sacrifice fly by Avila.
|Carlos Santana watches the flight of his walk-off grand slam as the Indians best Detroit. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Austin Jackson, CF||5||0||2||0||0||2||2||.178|
|Will Rhymes, 2B||4||1||1||0||1||1||5||.200|
|Magglio Ordonez, DH||5||0||1||0||0||1||3||.175|
|Miguel Cabrera, 1B||5||2||2||2||0||0||0||.323|
|Brennan Boesch, RF||5||1||1||0||0||1||1||.341|
|Ryan Raburn, LF||5||1||2||0||0||2||1||.247|
|Jhonny Peralta, SS||4||0||1||1||0||0||2||.265|
|Alex Avila, C||2||0||2||2||0||0||0||.319|
|Brandon Inge, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.225|
|2B - Ryan Raburn (7, Gomez), Alex Avila (6, Gomez), Brandon Inge (6, Gomez)|
|HR - Miguel Cabrera (6, Gomez)|
|SF - Alex Avila 2 (2)|
|RBI - Miguel Cabrera 2 (18), Jhonny Peralta (11), Alex Avila 2 (18)|
|2-OUT RBI - Miguel Cabrera 2 (8)|
|CS - Brennan Boesch (2, 2nd base by Gomez/Santana)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|DP - Peralta-Rhymes-Cabrera, Inge-Rhymes-Cabrera|
|Joaquin Benoit (L,0-1)||0.1||3||4||4||1||1||1||6.10|
|IBB - A. Cabrera by Joaquin Benoit|
|Pitches-Strikes - Max Scherzer 105-61, Daniel Schlereth 8-4, Ryan Perry 17-10, Joaquin Benoit 21-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Max Scherzer 6-5, Daniel Schlereth 1-1, Ryan Perry 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Max Scherzer 29, Daniel Schlereth 2, Ryan Perry 4, Joaquin Benoit 5|
|Grady Sizemore, CF||4||2||1||0||1||1||0||.378|
|Asdrubal Cabrera, SS||3||3||2||2||2||1||0||.272|
|Shin-Soo Choo, RF||3||1||1||0||2||1||3||.253|
|Carlos Santana, C||4||1||1||4||1||1||2||.195|
|Shelley Duncan, DH||4||0||2||2||0||0||1||.370|
|Orlando Cabrera, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.269|
|Michael Brantley, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.282|
|Matt LaPorta, 1B||4||1||1||1||0||1||3||.236|
|Jack Hannahan, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||2||0||.288|
|Adam Everett, PR||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.375|
|HR - Asdrubal Cabrera (5, Scherzer), Carlos Santana (4, Benoit), Matt LaPorta (4, Scherzer)|
|RBI - Asdrubal Cabrera 2 (17), Carlos Santana 4 (16), Shelley Duncan 2 (7), Matt LaPorta (12)|
|2-OUT RBI - Asdrubal Cabrera 2 (3), Shelley Duncan 2 (3)|
|SB - Asdrubal Cabrera (2, 2nd base off Scherzer/Avila)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|E - Asdrubal Cabrera (2, Throwing), Matt LaPorta (3, Misplayed grounder)|
|Chris Perez (W,1-1)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.70|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeanmar Gomez 96-58, Chad Durbin 16-10, Joe Smith 9-6, Vinnie Pestano 13-7, Chris Perez 11-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeanmar Gomez 8-6, Joe Smith 1-1, Vinnie Pestano 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Jeanmar Gomez 28, Chad Durbin 4, Joe Smith 4, Vinnie Pestano 3, Chris Perez 3|
|Attendance - 15568|
|Game Time - 3:11|
|Temperature - 51|
|Umpires - Home - Mike DiMuro, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Jim Reynolds|