Twins strike out, AL Central champion Tigers cash in

The Tigers clinched another AL Central title as the Twins struck out 10 times for the 63rd time this year.


The nonalcoholic sparkling wine flew in every direction Wednesday in the visitors clubhouse at Target Field. Then Torii Hunter looked around and realized something was missing.

“I’m gonna go get Skip,” Hunter said.

Hunter headed for the manager’s office, picked up Jim Leyland and carried him into the clubhouse. “I’ve got Skip!” he yelled, and several teammates roared as they drenched their 68-year-old leader. Leyland, who won his 700th game with the Tigers on Wednesday, hopped around for a few seconds then bounced out of the clubhouse as the celebration continued.

Detroit grinded out a 1-0 victory over the Twins to lower their magic number to zero. They won the AL Central Division for the third consecutive season, the first time a Tigers team has done that since 1907-09. Righthander Max Scherzer, the first pitcher to win 20 games, improved to 21-3 behind seven strong innings. He walked a season-high six but struck out 10.

The Twins got two hits off Scherzer. One was Chris Parmelee’s slow roller toward third base in the fourth inning that Scherzer fielded but had no play on, the other a Pedro Florimon grounder in the fifth that kicked off Omar Infante’s glove at second.

Two infield hits.

“He was tough,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He had great pitches.”

Scherzer is part of a Tigers starting rotation that has dominated the Twins at times while winning 11 of 19 games of the season series. Justin Verlander struck out 12 batters Monday in a game the Twins came back to win against Detroit’s bullpen. Anibal Sanchez nearly no-hit them on May 24 at Comerica Park.

Scherzer needed a visit from pitching coach Jeff Jones in the first inning after he walked Brian Dozier and he took second on a wild pitch. Scherzer made it through that inning, then took off. He struck out the side in the second and had 10 strikeouts by the end of the sixth, with Twins hitters having no chance against his fastballs darting between 94 and 96 miles per hour.

Twins batters — the “Sultans of Swish” — already have set a team record for strikeouts in a season and just keep adding on. With 1,382 strikeouts, the Twins moved into fifth place on baseball’s single-season records list.

With Scherzer, Verlander, Sanchez, Doug Fister and Rick Porcello, the Tigers have a rotation to get them deep into the postseason.

“That’s their bread and butter,” Gardenhire said. “Their offense is good, they’ve got the big boys. [But] playoff baseball is all about starting pitching.”

Hunter told the story of how he called General Manager Dave Dombrowski during the offseason and told him he wanted to play for the Tigers. He liked the roster, from the rotation to the daily lineup — and liked that there was an opening in right field. Hunter, 38, drove in the game’s only run with a first-inning single, and now is headed to his seventh postseason.

“This is what I anticipated,” Hunter said.

A couple teammates then walked by with cigars.

“Hey!” Hunter yelled again. “Give me one of those!”

  • related content

  • Photo gallery: Detroit 1, Twins 0

    Thursday September 26, 2013

    Twins at Target Field, Sept 25, 2013

  • Twins being cautious with Arcia's knee

    Thursday September 26, 2013

    Oswaldo Arcia on Wednesday went for an MRI exam on his bruised right knee two days after banging it off Target Field’s unforgiving wall.

  • Twins-Cleveland series preview

    Thursday September 26, 2013

    twins vs. cleveland series previewfour-GAME SERIES AT TARGET FIELDTuesday, 7:10 p.m. • FSN, 96.3-FMLHP Andrew Albers (2-4, 3.98) vs. RHP...

  • Wednesday's Twins-Detroit game recap

    Wednesday September 25, 2013

    GAME RECAPIMPACT PLAYERMax Scherzer, TigersThe Detroit righthander held the Twins scoreless for seven innings on two hits and six walks...

  • Postgame: Thoughts on Shutouts, Correia and clinch celebrations

    Thursday September 26, 2013

    Twins lose to Detroit and get to watch the Tigers celebrate another AL Central title

  • Detroit Tigers players celebrate amidst a rain of alcohol-free sparkli...

  • Detroit Tigers' Austin Jackson, right, slaps hands with Miguel Cabrera...

  • Chris Herrmann missed a first-inning drive by the Tigers’ Austin Jackson, who tripled and scored the game’s only run.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78


question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters