Twins clinch AL Central

Published 8:43 am Wednesday, September 22, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins clinched the AL Central division title on Tuesday night with a 6-4 come-from-behind victory over the Cleveland Indians and a loss by the Chicago White Sox in Oakland.

The Twins scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to rally from a 4-2 deficit and beat the Indians. Then they hung around the Target Field clubhouse to watch the Sox lost to the Athletics.

A few hundred hearty fans hung around the Twins dugout to celebrate with them and several of the players returned to the field to urge them on.

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It’s the first time in three years the AL Central hasn’t come down to a one-game playoff. The White Sox beat the Twins in Game 163 in 2009 and the Twins beat the Tigers in the extra game last season.

The Twins entered the game needing a win over Cleveland and a loss by the White Sox in Oakland to clinch their sixth division title in nine seasons.

Justin Masterson (6-13) allowed three runs and three hits in two-thirds of an inning for the Indians.

Glen Perkins (1-1) pitched one scoreless inning for the win and Matt Capps picked up his 15th save for the Twins and 41st of the year. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire picked up career victory No. 800.

Jim Thome hit a solo hmer and Valencia had two hits and an RBI for the Twins, who were stymied by Indians starter Fausto Carmona for the first five innings.

The big lefty gave up the solo homer to Thome in the second inning, but was breezing through the Twins lineup for the second time in his last three starts before running into trouble in the sixth.

He walked Thome and gave up a single to Young before Valencia chased him with an RBI single to cut the deficit to 4-2. Carmona gave up two runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings.