Minnesota Twins clinch first AL Central championship since 2010

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DETROIT, MICHIGAN - SEPTEMBER 25: Luis Arraez #2 of the Minnesota Twins watches his seventh inning two run home run while playing the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 25, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - SEPTEMBER 25: Luis Arraez #2 of the Minnesota Twins watches his seventh inning two run home run while playing the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 25, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Twins took care of business in Detroit and the Chicago White Sox took down the Cleveland Indians to help the Twins clinch the division title.

For weeks, the Minnesota Twins have brought their fans on a white-knuckle ride. As the Twins lead in the American League Central evaporated, a final stretch against some of the bottom teams in the division still had fans on pins and needles. However, as the smoke cleared on Wednesday night, it was replaced by beer and champagne as the Twins celebrated their first American League Central division title since 2010.

The night for the Twins started off in Detroit as they looked to take down the Tigers at Comerica Park. For the second straight game, the Twins received terrific starting pitching as Randy Dobnak followed up Jake Odorizzi‘s outing on Tuesday with a gem of his own.

The right-hander would allow an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning after Miguel Cabrera reached on an error and scored on a double by Jeimer Candelario but that would be all the Tigers would get against Dobnak.

In a performance that likely cemented a spot in the postseason rotation, Dobnak was spectacular, throwing six innings allowing one hit and striking out six while not having a single-three ball count on the night. While Dobnak was great on the mound, the Twins bats took a while to get going for the second consecutive night.

As the Twins trailed 1-0 going into the seventh, Luis Arraez would hit a go-ahead, two-run homer for his fourth bomb of the year to put the Twins ahead 2-1. Minnesota would tack on in the eighth inning when Nelson Cruz would deliver an RBI single and Eddie Rosario would drive him in with his 32nd home run of the year to blow the game open.

The Twins bullpen took care of things from there as Tyler Duffey, Trevor May and Zack Littell would each throw a scoreless inning of relief to preserve the 5-1 victory to shrink their magic number to one. With the Twins on the verge of the division title, their attention would turn to the TV screens in the clubhouse as they watched the White Sox try to take down the Indians.

Chicago would get off to a fast start with a three-run first inning and as the Indians began to rally in the middle innings, the score would be 5-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh. That’s where Wellington Castillo would play the hero with a three-run homer to blow the game open and turn things over to the White Sox bullpen.

Although the Indians would load the bases for Francisco Lindor in the top of the ninth, Jesus Colome would strike out the All-Star shortstop to secure the victory and give the Twins the AL Central championship.

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With the AL Central wrapped up, the Twins will look to get healthy in advance of the American League Divisional Series, which begins on Oct. 4. For the present, the Twins will send a champagne lineup out against the Tigers on Thursday afternoon against Jordan Zimmerman (1-12, 6.85 ERA) before heading to Kansas City for a three-game series against the Royals beginning on Friday night.

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