DETROIT -- Mike Aviles blasted a ninth-inning grand slam as the Cleveland Indians ended a five-game losing streak with a 4-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday at Comerica Park.
Joe Smith (6-2) picked up the victory with one inning of scoreless relief as the Indians salvaged the final game of a three-game series. Cleveland, which trails Detroit by 7 1/2 games in the American League Central, had lost seven straight to the Tigers.
Alex Avila had three hits for Detroit, which won the season series over its closest division rival, 15-4. The Tigers collected 11 hits but stranded 10 baserunners as their three-game winning streak was snapped.
Aviles ripped a 2-2 offering from Joaquin Benoit (4-1) over the left-field wall to break the deadlock. Benoit walked Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley to get into the jam. Aviles' homer, his ninth, followed a sacrifice and intentional walk.
Cleveland starter Danny Salazar and counterpart Justin Verlander dueled through a majority of the game. Salazar, a rookie, held the Tigers scoreless for six innings while Verlander blanked the Indians for seven innings.
Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera missed his second consecutive game with an abdominal injury. Centerfielder Austin Jackson was also out of the lineup on Sunday after injuring his right shoulder by crashing into the wall Saturday night.
The Tigers' top prospect, Nick Castellanos, flied out as a pinch hitter during the seventh in his major-league debut. He stayed in the game and grounded out in the ninth. Castellanos was called up Sunday from Class AAA Columbus after batting .276 with 18 homers and 76 RBI in 134 games with the Mud Hens.
NOTES: Both teams were busy making moves as the rosters expanded on the first day of September. The Indians reinforced their overtaxed bullpen by recalling RHPs Preston Guilmet and Blake Wood and LHP Nick Hagadone from Columbus. They also added veteran C Kelly Shoppach, who was signed to a minor-league contract on Friday, from Columbus and INF Jose Ramirez from Class AA Akron. ... Along with Castellanos, the Tigers recalled INF Danny Worth and RHP Evan Reed from Toledo. ... The last time the Indians lost at least 15 games to an opponent in a single season was 1969 when they finished 3-15 against the Washington Senators. The last time they lost 16 to any team in a season was 1960 against the New York Yankees. ... Every spot in Detroit's batting order has produced at least 50 RBI this season. ... Detroit has allowed 21 consecutive stolen base attempts. ... Cabrera's status for the team's three-game series in Boston against the Red Sox, which begins Monday, is uncertain. "I don't really have the answer when he's going to play," manager Jim Leyland said.