Twins Fall at Cleveland, Clinch Playoff Spot Nonetheless

Quinn Harris  Icon Sportswire

Quinn Harris Icon Sportswire

Another hour didn't matter.

The Twins came in needing just one win to grab the AL's second wild-card position - the New York Yankees already have the other - and complete a remarkable one-season reversal after losing 103 games in 2016.

This marks the franchise's first postseason appearance since 2010.

And then the game went into extra innings.

Manager Paul Molitor used 10 pitchers on Tuesday and six pitchers on Wednesday. "It's going to be a fun next few days thinking about it and trying to get all our planning straight and put together the best plan we can to give ourselves a chance to win".

Minnesota can wrap up its first trip to the postseason since 2010 if the Los Angeles Angels lose in Chicago.

Because the last five seasons during which the Twins made the playoffs, they have lost in the American League Divisional Series, which was the first round before the Wild Card game was introduced back in the 2012 season. But closer Cody Allen stopped the comeback and Minnesota's players hustled into the clubhouse to watch the Angels. The flow of beer turned into a flow of sparkling water once Delmonico connected.

"I'm speechless", right fielder Max Kepler said shortly after the raucous celebration began.

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"Danny looked great. That was really, really encouraging", Indians manager Terry Francona said.

It will be the 12th time the Twins have reached the postseason. "A long time coming". The Twins haven't faced Boston since July 29, wrapping up a series in which the Red Sox won three out of four games. Cleveland is also 5-0 in Carrasco's last five Thursday starts and 9-2 in Carrasco's last 11 home starts.

Rosario gave Minnesota 4-2 lead in the third with a two-run double before the Indians tied it in their half on RBI singles by Encarnacion and Jay Bruce.

"(We) will just have to do the best we can", Molitor said. He worked ahead. He had a good off-speed, whether it was a changeup or breaking ball and had dominant stuff. We only had two hits going into the ninth.

Cleveland scored two runs off Adalberto Mejia (4-7), who hit Gomes with a pitch and the bases loaded in the fourth to force in a run. In the sixth, Gomes made it 4-0 with his 14th home run, a solo shot off reliever Michael Tonkin.

Minnesota, which will close the season with one more game against the Indians and a three-game set in Detroit, has not had much success this season against Boston or NY. They are 6-2 against the Indians in Cleveland and like how they match up with the defending AL champs.

While predecessors Tom Kelly (1987) and Ron Gardenhire (2002) reached the postseason in their first full seasons at the help, Molitor only had to wait until his third year to take a team into the October crapshoot. Brian Dozier entered Wednesday on 161 hits, 102 runs, 33 homers and 90 RBI; Joe Mauer had 159 hits, 68 runs and 70 RBI.

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