Just when the Indians were getting the hang of beating the Tigers the season series ended. Sometimes you just can't catch a break.

What did it take for manager Terry Francona's team to finally beat the AL Central leaders 4-0 Sunday at Comerica Park? Nothing much just a dream becoming a reality.

There is little room for dreams in the stat-driven bottom-line game of baseball. Especially in September. Dreams are for spring training but sometimes they can weave their way into the stretch run.

Mike Aviles supplied all the Indians' runs Sunday as he hit a grand slam in the ninth inning off Joaquin Benoit. It was the first slam of his big league career.

"I can't even tell you when I hit my last grand slam" said Aviles. "I hit a lot of them in my sleep. . .I hit one last night in my sleep. It's just good to have a real one."

For the record Aviles' last slam was on July 1 2011 at Class AAA Omaha Kansas City's top farm club. He can be excused for forgetting that one. This one will not be so easily forgotten.

Not only did it end a seven-game losing streak against the Tigers but it ended a five-game losing streak overall. It was the Tribe's only win on this six-game trip through Atlanta and the Motor City. Things will not get easier when they return to Progressive Field on Monday night to play wild-card competitor Baltimore in a three-game series.

The Tigers despite Sunday's loss dominated the Indians this year. They went 15-4 against the second best team in the Central. Sunday they didn't have Miguel Cabrera or Austin Jackson in the lineup because of injuries but still forced the Indians to go to an unconscious state to conjure a victory.

With 26 games left the Indians trail the Tigers by 7 1/2 games. Their chances in the wild card race seem much better than in the division. They trailed Tampa Bay by 4 1/2 games for the second wild card at the start of Sunday's action but Baltimore and the Yankees were ahead of them.

"All we want to do is keep playing until they send us home" said manager Terry Francona. "Because we won today it makes tomorrow's game that much more important."

Carlos Santana started the ninth with a walk against Benoit (4-1). Rookie Jose Ramirez just called up from Class AA Akron pinch ran. Benoit followed that with another walk to Michael Brantley. Asdrubal Cabrera advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt and Jason Kubel was intentionally walked to load the bases.

Aviles fouled off two pitches with the count at 2-2 before finally connecting on his ninth homer of the season and the second of the trip.