After the Twins clinched the second wild card spot in the American League Wednesday night, the party started in the visitor’s locker room at Progressive Field in Cleveland. But the party didn’t stop there, according to ESPN.com news services.
The party moved outside Progressive Field, so it wasn’t surprising that a few Minnesota players, some wearing sunglasses and dragging along, wandered in as late as 11:20 a.m. for the 12:10 p.m. start.
Manager Paul Molitor also rested Brian Dozier, Byron Buxton, Eduardo Escobar and Eddie Rosario on Thursday, resulting in a 5-2 loss to the Tribe. Those who did appear in the Twins’ lineup on Thursday probably weren’t in the best of shape, which explains why Tribe starter Carlos Correa struck out 14 in eight-plus innings. Correa has quietly put together a great season. His win on Thursday improved his record to 18-6 with a 3.29 ERA.
Twins starter Ervin Santana pitched five innings of shutout baseball, then was lifted after 57 pitches in favor of the bullpen. Santana is expected to start the one-game playoff.
The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox both lost Thursday, so the Yanks remain three games behind their arch-rivals with three games to play.
Kyle Gibson gets the ball Friday versus Detroit.