CLEVELAND - Anibal Sanchez took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and the Detroit Tigers beat the Cleveland Indians 5-3 Saturday despite losing a run on an appeal play.
Carlos Santana ruined Sanchez's no-hit bid with a two-out triple in the seventh, but Cleveland was officially eliminated from the playoffs after falling to 16-45 since the All-Star break. Starter Justin Masterson (11-14) took the loss.
Sanchez (3-5) struck out seven over 6 2/3 innings as Detroit stayed one game behind the first place Chicago White Sox in the AL Central with its fourth straight win.
After Cleveland rallied, Jose Valverde, the fourth Tigers pitcher, worked the ninth for his 31st save in 35 chances.
Detroit got only one run instead of two in the fifth for a 4-0 lead when Alex Avila missed touching third while trying to score from second base.
With two outs, and Avila on second after an RBI double off Masterson, Quintin Berry hit a ball into the hole at shortstop, where Asdrubal Cabrera fielded it and threw to third to try and get Avila advancing. The wild throw sent Avila home and Berry to second.
Cleveland changed pitchers and reliever Tony Sipp stepped off the rubber and threw to third on an appeal as Berry broke for the bag in an attempted steal. Third-base ump Wally Bell ordered Berry back. The appeal happened again, with Berry again running, and this time Bell signaled out and took the run off the board.
Since Tigers manager Jim Leyland did not argue, it appeared that he had ordered Berry to run, hoping the Indians would tag him instead of stepping on the base. Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall stood on the bag to take the throw, however, recording the out on Avila.
Sanchez had a perfect game until hitting Shin-Soo Choo in the leg with a pitch to open the fourth. Choo was erased when Santana hit into an inning-ending double play.