CLEVELAND: As expected, the Tribe designated Aaron Cunningham for assignment to make room for Brent Lillibridge on the roster.

Cunningham was used mostly as a defensive replacement for Johnny Damon in left field, but he played a crucial role in Tuesday night’s 3-2 win over the Detroit Tigers by executing a squeeze that scored the game-winning run in the eighth inning.

“It’s part of the game,” manager Manny Acta said of the decision to ax Cunningham. “He’s been a very good teammate, and he did everything we asked him to do.”

If Cunningham clears waivers, the Indians will ask him to accept an assignment to Triple-A Columbus. Acta said he would accept.

“Absolutely, we want him back,” Acta said. “And he likes us too.”

For the season, he was batting .175 with one home run and seven RBI in 97 at-bats.

THE SCORE — Since 2010, Ozzie Guillen is the most successful manager (Chicago White Sox, Miami Marlins) in using the squeeze, going 10-for-10; Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels is next at 7-for-7. Acta, Jim Leyland of the Tigers and Don Wakamatsu of the Seattle Mariners are each 5-for-5.

ANSWERING THE CALL — Lou Marson was in the video room watching Tuesday night’s game when Travis Hafner tripled with the score tied in the eighth.

“I saw Hafner hit the triple and figured I’d better get out there,” Marson said. “I grabbed my helmet and ran back [to the dugout]; I heard them yelling for me.”

Marson pinch ran for Hafner and scored on Cunningham’s well-placed bunt.

FALL LEAGUE LINEUP — Indians participants in the Arizona Fall League will play for the Scottsdale Scorpions. The Tribe will contribute the hitting coach, Phil Clark, who is on the staff at Columbus.

FARM FACTS — Ezequiel Carrera hit his fifth homer of the year, singled and drove in three runs, as Columbus beat Toledo 7-4. Jared Goedert had two hits and one RBI to raise his average to .304. … Joe Wendle homered, singled and drove in two runs, and Eric Gonzalez had three singles and two RBI in Mahoning Valley’s 9-3 win over Williamsport in Class A. Luis Morel (2-1, 3.86 ERA) gave up one earned run (two total) and four hits in five innings.

— Sheldon Ocker