Posted September 24, 2013 on AP on Fox
For the Minnesota Twins, barreling their way to a third straight 90-loss season, it's about the little things - like not watching another team celebrate a playoff berth. They had their noses rubbed in it Sunday in Oakland, where the Athletics beat Minnesota 11-7 to complete a four-game sweep and clinch their second straight AL West title. The Twins are trying to avoid the same fate this week at Target Field, where they opened a season-ending homestand against AL Central contenders with a 4-3 victory over Detroit in 11 innings Monday night. The first-place Tigers could have wrapped up a postseason spot with a win. Their magic number is two for securing the AL Central crown. ''We held them off from celebrating on our field for one more day,'' said closer Glen Perkins, who pitched two scoreless innings. ''We'd like to see (the Tigers) not celebrate on our field.'' Brian Dozier tied the score at 3 with a leadoff homer in the ninth, his team-high 18th, and scored the winning run in the 11th on a single by rookie Josmil Pinto. Minnesota snapped a four-game skid and bounced back from a 1-6 road trip through Chicago and Oakland. It was an unlikely comeback. Starting a lineup with six players who spent most of the season in the minors, the Twins looked overmatched against Justin Verlander, who struck out eight in the first three innings and left with a 1-0 lead after six. He gave up six hits and walked three but fanned 12, holding the Twins hitless (0 for 9) with runners in scoring position. ''I thought he was going to set records,'' Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. The Twins had just been outclassed in Oakland, where they lost all four games by a combined score of 31-14. ''We got outpitched, outhit, outplayed,'' Perkins said. ''There was nothing good about that series.'' But the Twins roughed up Detroit's best relief pitchers with six hits, two walks and three runs combined against Drew Smyly, Al Alburquerque, Jose Veras and Joaquin Benoit, who was charged with his first blown save of the year after giving up Dozier's home run into the bullpen in left-center. ''I got ahead first pitch and he came back with a fastball. I put a good swing on it,'' said Dozier, who was 0 for 3 with three called strikeouts against Verlander. Dozier started the 11th with a sharp single off Luke Putkonen (1-2) and moved to second when Josh Willingham struck out on a wild pitch. Pinto followed with a hard single to right field, where strong-armed Torii Hunter was playing shallow. ''I knew that as good as Torii throws, it was going to be close, and as hard as Pinto hit it, it was going to be even closer,'' Dozier said. ''But he sailed it up a little bit. Right when I saw it leave his hand I knew it was going to be up because as strong an arm as he has, if he doesn't keep the ball low, it's going to ride on him.'' The Twins finish the season with two more games against Detroit and four against Cleveland, which is 4 1/2 games behind the Tigers but leads the race for the second AL wild card. Gardenhire moved within two wins of 1,000 for his career, all with the Twins since becoming their manager before the 2002 season. ''We'd like to win for Gardy,'' Perkins said. ''He needs two more.'' NOTES: Twins starter Mike Pelfrey gave up one run on six hits and three walks in six innings. Completing a full season after Tommy John surgery, he said his arm is a little tired and he likely won't make another start this season. ... Twins LF Oswaldo Arcia was scratched after bruising his right knee on the outfield wall while chasing a fly ball in batting practice. ... The Twins' 17 strikeouts gave them 60 games with at least 10 this season. The previous team record was 26 in 2001. ... Minnesota entered leading the AL with 171 double plays and then turned two more against the Tigers.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Twins pitcher Mike Pelfrey ends season on high note

MINNEAPOLIS -- Adversity has been something Twins pitcher Mike Pelfrey has become accustomed to over the last few years. So a flu bug was nothing more than a mere annoyance Monday against Detroit as the right-hander made what turned out to be his final start of the season. Admittedly not feeling well as he dealt with the flu, Pelfrey took the mound against the Tigers in the Twins...

Twins' Joe Mauer getting better, had another good day of workouts

While the Minnesota Twins will not see Joe Mauer back on the field this season, his symptoms are fading and he is getting better.  It took a while for him to start making some progress, but Mauer has now been symptom-free for a few days.  His concussion has kept him out for over a month now. Joe Mauer had another good day of workouts at Target Field. Has been symptom-free...

Ron Gardenhire two wins away from reaching 1,000

MINNEAPOLIS -- Torii Hunter can't remember who the Twins were playing -- or even if they won, for that matter -- but there was a moment in 2002 that has stuck with Hunter to this day as he talks about his former manager and current Minnesota skipper Ron Gardenhire. With the Twins losing by seven runs in the sixth or seventh inning, Gardenhire stood up and, out of nowhere, told...

Twins scratch Oswaldo Arcia with knee injury

Minnesota Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia was a late scratch from the team's lineup yesterday. Arcia was deemed unable to suit up after bruising his right knee during batting practice, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com. Arcia sustained his injury while running into a wall during batting practice. The circumstances surrounding the injury aren't clear, but fielders...

Twins official scorers face pressure packed situations

Stew Thornley still remembers the jitters from his first big league game. The Minnesota Twins were playing host to the Washington Nationals in June of 2007, and Thornley's hands were shaking. Thankfully for the Twins -- and for Thornley -- he wasn't in Minnesota's starting lineup that night. Instead, he was sitting in the Metrodome press box for his first game as the...

Ron Gardenhire has jokes about the A’s potentially clinching the division

With a win over the Twins or a Rangers loss, the A’s could be clinching their 16th division title on Sunday. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was asked about that possibility and his answer was the greatest: “I don’t want them to swim in our pool, which is usually our dugout here.” Funny and doubly topical. Nicely done, sir. Nicely done. Unless you are John McCain. [SF Gate]

Twins flail away at Tigers pitching in 4-2 loss

The Minnesota Twins are going down swinging. The Twins struck out another 14 times in a 4-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night, the 61st time this season they have fanned at least 10 times in a game. Josh Willingham and Clete Thomas each struck out three times, and the Twins' final six outs of the game came on whiffs as they failed to keep the Tigers from clinching...

Twins find themselves playing baseball at Oakland's party

Before the Oakland Athletics topped the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, they had already clinched the American League West. A loss by the Texas Rangers sealed that fate for the A's. Unfortunately for the Twins, the game still had to be played. Even after they clinched the AL West, the A's beat Minnesota by an 11-7 final to complete a four-game sweep -- the first time ever that...

Twins come back late to beat Tigers

Josmil Pinto hit an RBI single in the 11th inning and the Minnesota Twins overcame 12 strikeouts by Justin Verlander to beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3 on Monday night. The Tigers led 3-0 in the eighth, but Jose Veras gave up RBI doubles to Eduardo Escobar and pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit. Brian Dozier led off the ninth with a tying homer against previously perfect closer Joaquin Benoit...

Pebble Hunting: Pedro Hernandez and the Rashomon Project by Sam Miller, R.J. Anderson, Dan Brooks and Dan Rozenson

Four authors used different methods to watch the same pitcher make the same start. These are their reviews of that pitcher`s performance.

With division in the bag, A's beat Twins 11-7

here was only one fitting way to cap this day. Having learned they clinched a division title early Sunday via a Texas Rangers loss the Oakland A’s added the exclamation point with an 11-7 victory to cap a four-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins. They hammered out 11 hits and hit three homers and when it was over the team poured out of the dugout and formed a mob in the infield...

Twins beat Tigers in 11th

The Twins realized there probably would be a celebration at Target Field during this series with Detroit. Even without champagne they enjoyed the party a lot more than they expected. Brian Dozier launched a Joaquin Benoit fastball into the Tigers bullpen to tie the score in the ninth inning Monday night then raced home with the winning run on a Josmil Pinto single in the 11th and...

Tigers blow lead, fall to Twins in extras

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Josmil Pinto hit an RBI single in the 11th inning and the Minnesota Twins overcame 12 strikeouts by Justin Verlander to beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3 on Monday night. The Tigers led 3-0 in the eighth, but Jose Veras gave up RBI doubles to Eduardo Escobar and pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit. Brian Dozier led off the ninth with a tying homer against previously perfect closer...

A’s Clinch AL west for Second Straight Year with Win Over Twins

The plastic wrap and chilled champagne were brought into the A’s clubhouse long before the end of the regular season home finale ended Sunday in Oakland, as the Texas Rangers loss sealed the second consecutive AL west championship for the A’s. But that didn’t stop the Oakland players from once again throttling the Minnesota Twins. After building a five-run lead after two innings...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.