Buried halfway down in a garbage can in the visitor's clubhouse was a symbol of the New York Yankees' trip to Minnesota.
A pair of spikes and stirrups, discarded by Scott Brosius, no longer were part of this magical season.
The Yankees' romp through the American League was interrupted Thursday night with a 9-4 loss to the Twins at the Metrodome, with their modern major league record of 48 consecutive games with a lead coming to an end.
"We're playing so bad, guys are throwing clothes away," Joe Girardi muttered.
"They're just tired," Brosius said of the shoes.
The Yankees (92-32) played poorly in being swept in a two-game series, the first time they have been swept since losing a season-opening two-game set to the Angels at Edison Field.
The Yankees, who have lost only four series all season, committed a season-high five errors that led to four unearned runs. They never led after Ron Coomer's homer in the second inning gave the Twins a 1-0 lead--the first game the Yankees haven't held a lead at some point since a June 28 loss to the New York Mets.
"We booted the ball all over the place," said right-fielder Paul O'Neill, who did just that on Todd Walker's eighth-inning double. "We just couldn't do much right. It's one of those games you just forget about."
Not for the Twins, who became the first team to beat New York four times.
Coomer drove in three runs and Terry Steinbach had two RBI singles, as the Twins broke the game open with a four-run fifth inning to make the score 7-1.
The loss was only the third in 15 games for New York, which hadn't lost two in a row since July 17-18 in Toronto.
Tampa Bay 4, Baltimore 2--Tony Saunders (4-11), pitching in his hometown, gave up four hits over seven innings and Bobby Smith broke an eighth-inning tie with a sacrifice fly for the Devil Rays at Baltimore.
Bubba Trammell homered for the Devil Rays, who finished 7-5 against the Orioles, including 5-1 in Baltimore.
Cal Ripken tied Brooks Robinson's franchise record of 2,848 hits with his 10th homer.
Texas 8, Cleveland 2--Juan Gonzalez became the Rangers' all-time hit leader when he connected for his 35th home run at Arlington, Texas.
Pinch-hitter Roberto Kelly had a three-run homer, Ivan Rodriguez hit a two-run homer and Rusty Greer had a solo shot for the Rangers after Gonzalez gave them a 1-0 lead in the second inning with his homer off Dave Burba (10-9).
It was Gonzalez's 1,181st hit, pushing him past Jim Sundberg for the highest total in Ranger history.
Kansas City 8, Boston 2--Mike Stanley hit a two-run homer in the first inning, his third home run in two days, but its effect was negated when Terry Pendleton's three-run homer in the bottom of the inning got the Royals going at Kansas City.
The Royals ended a five-game losing streak, largely with the effort of Pendleton, who had four RBIs. The homer was only his second of the season and was the only extra-base hit for Kansas City, which had 11 singles.
Oakland 3, Chicago 1--Kenny Rogers pitched seven strong innings for his 100th victory and Miguel Tejada backed him with a two-run homer at Oakland.
Rogers (12-5) gave up one run and five hits and struck out four in helping the A's finish a two-game series sweep.
He achieved the milestone victory in his fourth try. He is 9-0 with a 2.11 ERA in 15 starts at the Oakland Coliseum, the best home ERA in the AL.
Toronto 7, Seattle 0--Roger Clemens (15-6) won his 10th decision in a row and pitched his first shutout of the season in leading the Blue Jays at Seattle.
Clemens (15-6) pitched a three-hitter and struck out six in recording his 42nd shutout and lowering his earned-run average to 2.90.
Clemens moved into a tie for 37th with Catfish Hunter and Bucky Walters on the all-time shutout list. He has 3,073 strikeouts, 11th on the all-time list. Bob Gibson is 10th with 3,117.
Ken Griffey Jr., the AL home run leader with 42, failed to homer in his fifth consecutive game, going 0 for 4. He has one homer in his last 18 games and 77 at-bats.