There were a lot of texts exchanged between the Twins and Pirates clubhouses last night, after Justin Morneau and Francisco Liriano celebrated Pittsburgh's playoff-clinching victory in Chicago. Brian Duensing and Joe Mauer both said they had been in touch with their former teammates, and Ron Gardenhire, too.
"That was nice. [Morneau] was excited," the Twins manager said. "I'm happy for him, to say the least. That's kind of what Terry [Ryan] and I envisioned that day when we talked to him and Terry was telling him, [the trade] is an opportunity to get in the playoffs. We were hoping that would work out for him, and he's getting that chance now. Because he really deserves it."
Torii Hunter is another former Twin who will get to celebrate soon, but last night's Twins rally means it's not quite as certain that the clincher will come here at Target Field. The Tigers' magic number is two, so a Detroit win and Cleveland loss could wrap up the Tigers' third straight A.L. Central title tonight, or it could come tomorrow. It's Doug Fister on the mound for the Tigers today, with Scott Diamond facing him for the Twins.
Joe Mauer is on the field as the Twins take batting practice, the first time he's done that since going on the disabled list last month.
Oswaldo Arcia is limping around after bruising his knee on the outfield wall during batting practice yesterday, so he's out of the lineup. Gardenhire made it sound doubtful that he would be available to pinch-hit.