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Twins Defeat Indians and Clinch Division

September 16, 2002|From Associated Press

The Minnesota Twins refused to be contracted. Instead, they conquered.

The small-market survivors that baseball couldn't eliminate made sure their unexpected season will include a trip to October's postseason.

The Twins, targeted for contraction last November by Commissioner Bud Selig, clinched the American League Central on Sunday with a 5-0 victory over the defending champion Cleveland Indians.

"Bud Selig couldn't get rid of us," Jacque Jones said during a wild celebration in Minnesota's clubhouse. "The White Sox couldn't get rid of us. The Cleveland Indians couldn't get rid of us. Here we are, and we're staying."

Kyle Lohse (13-8) pitched six shutout innings as the Twins secured their first playoff appearance since 1991.

"It's been a long haul," Manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It started [last] winter when they tried to kick us out and take away our team."

After doing their part by winning, the Twins had to put their postgame party plans on hold for about 20 minutes as they waited for the outcome of Chicago's game in New York.

When the second-place White Sox lost, 8-4, at Yankee Stadium in a game called because of rain, it was time to celebrate.

Seattle 6, Oakland 3--Bret Boone and Edgar Martinez each drove in two runs at Oakland as the Mariners finally found some offense and ended a six-game losing streak.

Martinez hit a two-run homer, Mike Cameron added a solo shot and Boone had three hits as Seattle ended a 21-inning scoreless drought and ended Oakland's 12-game home winning streak.

Oakland dropped a game behind the first-place Angels in the AL West.

After a rough first inning, starter Joel Pineiro (14-6) settled down to retire 10 of the next 11 batters before giving up a solo homer to John Mabry in the fifth inning.

New York 8, Chicago 4--Alfonso Soriano, Jason Giambi and Bernie Williams homered, and the Yankees cut their magic number to five in a game called in the sixth inning after three rain delays at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees had been outscored, 21-3, in losing the first two games of the series and they had to rally after Miguel Olivo hit a three-run homer in his first major league at-bat to give Chicago a 3-0 lead.

Baltimore 8, Boston 3--The visiting Orioles won for only the third time in 22 games and pushed the Red Sox closer to elimination from postseason play. Boston, which has 14 games left, is 9 1/2 games behind the AL East-leading Yankees and nine games behind the wild-card leading A's.

Tony Batista set a Baltimore record for homers by a third baseman. His two-run homer in the third inning was his 29th as a third baseman this season, eclipsing Brooks Robinson's 28 in 1964.

Kansas City 9, Detroit 3--Joe Randa tripled and scored three runs as the Royals won their second in a row and extended their lead in the AL Central over the last-place Tigers to five games.

Before the game at Detroit, the Tigers honored longtime broadcaster Ernie Harwell, who is retiring after 55 years as a major league announcer, 42 with the Tigers. A statue of Harwell was unveiled inside the entrance to Comerica Park.

Tampa Bay 7, Toronto 4--Joe Kennedy gave up three hits over seven innings at Toronto as the Devil Rays ended a six-game skid.

Randy Winn drove in two runs for the Devil Rays, who have won only two of their last 13 games. They lost their 100th game Saturday.

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