Twins clinch 2nd straight Central title

A four run 8th inning helped propel the Minnesota Twins to a 6-4 win over Cleveland on Tuesday night at Target Field. The Twins comeback victory, coupled with a White Sox loss in Oakland, clinched the Central division title for Minnesota. They are the first team in baseball to clinch a division title this year.


ο The Twins clinch the American League Central title for the second straight season…the Twins have won the American League Central six times in the last nine seasons, all under manager Ron Gardenhire.

ο Scott Baker made his 19th career start against the Indians, the most of any opponent…he pitched 5.0-plus innings for the first time since August 27 at Seattle…seven of his 15 outs tonight were recorded via strikeout.

ο Jim Thome hit his 589th career homer in the second inning…he now has seven home runs and 14 rbi in the month of September, both figures lead the team.

ο Thome now has 24 home runs as a designated hitter, which is the second-most in club history behind Chili Davis’ 1991 mark of 29 as a DH…Thome has logged just 247 at-bat as the Twins DH, compared to Davis’ total of 531 at-bats in 1991.

ο Danny Valencia drove in his 12th run this month…coming into today, he ranked second in the AL in rbi for a rookie this month (Ryan Kalish, BOS - 14).

ο Valencia has now hit safely in 29 of 34 games he has played in at Target Field this season.

ο J.J. Hardy was scratched from tonight’s original lineup due to migraines…he was replaced with Nick Punto at short…Hardy has hit .345 in September.

ο Five of Drew Butera’s 24 hits this season have been against the Indians, the most of any club…his two doubles against the Tribe are also the most.

ο Punto collected his first double since July 25 at Baltimore, when he had two…he is a career .400 (8-for-20) hitter against Fausto Carmona.

ο The Twins announced their 74th sellout of the season and 73rd consecutive with an attendance of 39,580 for tonight’s game…the Twins have now drawn a total of 3,023,188 fans this season, marking the second time in club history that the Twins have surpassed the 3-million mark in attendance…the previous time was in 1988, when the Twins drew 3,030,672.

ο Ron Gardenhire won his 800th career game tonight, becoming just the second Twins manager in history with 800-plus victories (Tom Kelly - 1140)…Tom Kelly earned his 800th career victory on May 12, 1997 vs. Toronto in his 1,614th career game as a manager…Gardy managed his 1,448th career game tonight.

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