EditorsNote: updates first two grafs to reflect Twins clinching
Luis Arraez and Eddie Rosario hit two-run homers, and the Minnesota Twins clinched their first American League Central title in nine years shortly after earning a 5-1 victory over the host Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.
The win reduced the Twins’ magic number to capture the division to one, and when the second-place Cleveland Indians lost 8-3 to the Chicago White Sox later in the evening, Minnesota sealed the AL Central crown.
Arraez was among a trio of Twins batters who had two hits. Nelson Cruz scored and knocked in a run with his two hits while Jorge Polanco went 2-for-5 with a run.
Randy Dobnak (2-1) allowed one unearned run on just one hit and struck out six in six innings while collecting the win. He didn’t walk a batter.
Detroit starter Daniel Norris struck out five and held the Twins to two hits and no runs in three innings. Drew VerHagen (4-3) allowed three runs in 4 1/3 innings and was charged with the loss. Jeimer Candelario drove in the Tigers’ lone run.
The Tigers opened the scoring in the first. Miguel Cabrera, who missed the previous three games with a sore knee, reached on an error by shortstop Polanco. Candelario then ripped a double to center, bringing home Cabrera.
Minnesota had an opportunity in the fourth when Cruz led off with a double. He was eventually thrown out at home on a Miguel Sano grounder.
Dobnak struck out the side in the sixth, but the Twins still trailed by a run.
Sano drew a walk to lead off the seventh, and Arraez blasted his fourth homer this season, a 402-foot shot over the right field wall.
Facing Twins reliever Tyler Duffey in the bottom of the seventh, Detroit’s Dawel Lugo doubled with two outs, but Duffey struck out Jordy Mercer to preserve the one-run advantage.
Minnesota put the game away with three runs in eighth.
With one out, Polanco drilled a triple to right-center off VerHagen. Cruz then smacked a single through the hole off John Schreiber to make it 3-1. Rosario followed with his two-run shot over the right field wall, his 32nd home run of the season.
—Field Level Media