Jose Valverde shrugged off his first blown save since returning to the Detroit Tigers.
Pinch-hitter Mark Reynolds hit a tiebreaking single in the 10th inning, and the Cleveland Indians beat Detroit 4-3 on Sunday. The game went to extra innings after Valverde allowed a tying single to Michael Brantley with two outs in the ninth.
"You have to respect the hitter, too," Valverde said. "You have to remember, this guy is a big leaguer, too."
Joe Smith (1-0) blanked the Tigers in the bottom of the ninth, and the Indians took the lead in the 10th.
With men on first and third and one out in the 10th, Michael Bourn hit a slow grounder to shortstop Jhonny Peralta, who threw home in time to get Asdrubal Cabrera trying to score. But Reynolds followed with a single to left off Darin Downs (0-1).
With Cleveland closer Chris Perez unavailable after pitching the previous night, Rich Hill got the first two outs of the Detroit 10th, and Cody Allen finished for his first career save.
"That was as good a team effort as you are ever going to see," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We left some guys on base early, and that's tough against any team, much less that one. But we kept playing and we got it in the end."
The Indians took two of three from the defending AL champions. Cleveland has not lost any of its last seven series.
Detroit was prepared to let Valverde leave via free agency in the offseason, but the Tigers ended up bringing him back on a minor league deal. He was back in Detroit as the closer by the end of April, and he hadn't allowed a run in five appearances before Sunday.
But he walked two in the ninth before Brantley's tying single.
"It's going to happen, because we are human," Detroit catcher Brayan Pena said. "Valverde's our closer, and we're very happy to have him, and he's one of those guys that tomorrow is going to be back on the mound and see what happens."
Detroit threatened in the bottom of the ninth when Andy Dirks led off with a single, but Torii Hunter couldn't get a bunt down and ended up hitting into a 1-6-3 double play - Cabrera had to spin awkwardly near second because of Smith's slightly inaccurate throw, but he made the turn successfully.
That meant Miguel Cabrera had to hit with the bases empty, and his flyout sent the game to extra innings.
Asdrubal Cabrera doubled leading off the 10th and went to third on Nick Swisher's tapper to the pitcher. After Carlos Santana was intentionally walked, the Tigers got a big out when Asdrubal Cabrera was thrown out at home.
But Reynolds singled to left past a diving Miguel Cabrera, and Santana scored from second.
Brayan Pena homered for the Tigers, and Detroit starter Rick Porcello allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked two.
Zach McAllister allowed two earned runs and eight hits in six innings for the Indians.
Pena's two-run homer in the second opened the scoring. The Indians tied it the following inning on a two-run double by Jason Kipnis.
Detroit scored an unearned run in the fourth after Cleveland third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall threw wildly to first on Peralta's groundball for a two-base error. Pena's grounder up the middle hit second base for an infield single, and Omar Infante drove in Peralta with a sacrifice fly.