The Nationals took a 2-1 lead on an unearned run in the fourth. Adam LaRoche led off with a single and Danny Espinosa singled him to second with one out. Kurt Suzuki flied to right and LaRoche tagged and went for third. Torii Hunter's throw hit LaRoche, eluded Cabrera and went out of play. LaRoche was awarded home and Espinosa third.
"That's baseball for you. There's nothing I did wrong, nothing Miguel did wrong, (it's) just . crazy," Hunter said. "I hate it though, trust me."
Harper made it 3-1 when he hit Sanchez's first pitch over the wall in right center with two outs in the fifth for his 10th home run.
"It was a 0-0 curveball, a pitch he hadn't seen yet in the game, and it was a good 0-0 pitch," Tiger catcher Alex Avila said. "A lot of guys just take that pitch, or if they do swing, they don't hit it out of the park normally. That was pretty impressive."
Washington tied it in the bottom half when Denard Span tripled and scored on Harper's sacrifice fly.
NOTES: Cabrera appeared to grab his right hip after grounding out in the sixth. "My back was tight, a little sore, my low back," he said. "But no big deal. I was able to play nine innings, so, hopefully tomorrow, it will work out, regular stretch and ready to play." . Detroit's RHP Doug Fister (4-0, 2.48) and RHP Dan Haren (3-3, 5.01) will start Thursday's finale. ... The start of the game was delayed 57 minutes by rain. ... Managers Johnson and Jim Leyland were meeting for the first time since Sept. 19, 1999, when Johnson's Dodgers defeated Leyland's Rockies, 5-2.