DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera's towering fly ball was headed toward left-center field -- and at first, the Detroit slugger couldn't tell if it would clear the fence.
When it did, the Tigers celebrated perhaps the most spectacular comeback of the 2012 baseball season.
Cabrera hit a two-run homer to cap a stunning five-run rally by Detroit with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning, giving the Tigers a 10-8 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday. Cleveland has lost nine straight, and this one slipped away in unthinkable fashion.
With two outs and nobody on -- and the Indians up 8-5 -- Chris Perez (0-3) walked Alex Avila and pinch-hitter Andy Dirks. Austin Jackson doubled home a run, and Omar Infante's two-run single tied it.
Cabrera followed with his 27th homer, which finally came down beyond the fence in left-center.
"It was a little scary," Cabrera said. "It was high. I was not sure if I hit it out. I'm glad."
It's the first time all season a team has trailed by at least three runs with two outs and nobody on in its last at-bat and come back to win in that inning, according to STATS, LLC. The last time it happened was Sept. 27, when Arizona scored six runs in a similar situation to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-6.
The Tigers never led this one until the end. They rallied to tie it after trailing 3-1, 4-3, and 5-4 -- then managed their remarkable comeback in extra innings.
"You never know what's going to happen," Cabrera said. "You've got to make 27 outs."
Actually, the Indians got 29. Even that wasn't enough.
"This is very deflating," Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. "You never believe it is going to happen. Even with Infante at the plate, I'm feeling confident because we've got two out, a two-run lead, and our closer on the mound."
Travis Hafner and Ezequiel Carrera had hit back-to-back solo homers for Cleveland in the 10th.
Detroit's Darin Downs (1-0) earned his first career win.
The Tigers remained within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Chicago White Sox in the AL Central, winning a wild game in which catcher Gerald Laird and manager Jim Leyland were ejected in the second inning.
Jackson and Infante had four hits apiece, including two triples for Jackson and a homer by Infante.
The Tigers nearly won it in the ninth when Jackson led off with a triple. After Josh Tomlin struck out Infante, Cleveland intentionally walked Cabrera and Prince Fielder to load the bases.
The Indians then brought Jose Lopez off the bench as an extra infielder, removing Shin-Soo Choo from right field and playing with only two outfielders. Quintin Berry hit a grounder to first baseman Carlos Santana, who started a home-to-first double play that sent the game to extra innings tied at 5.
Hafner hit his 200th career homer, and Carrera followed with his first. The Indians added another run in the inning, but it somehow wasn't enough.
"Nobody's heads were hanging," Jackson said. "I think that's the good thing. Everybody had their heads up, and anything can happen in those situations."
Max Scherzer allowed four runs and 10 hits in five innings for the Tigers. He struck out nine.