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As Kansas City took a 10-8 lead in the 12th, Torii Hunter joined the fans in singing the day's unusual battle cry: "Let's go, Royals!"
Waiting for Kansas City to get those final three outs, Justin Morneau turned to Cuddyer on the bench and made his own analogy.
"It was like we were going up the roller coaster," Morneau said. "And it was like, click ... click ... click. ... And there it goes."
As soon as Royals first baseman Jeff Keppinger tucked away the final out in Detroit, the Twins dashed from their dugout, spilling beer behind them. They gathered momentarily in the infield but then kept running to center field and left field, giving high fives to the fans along foul territory as they made their way back to the dugout.
The Tigers finished 95-67. For the first time since May 15, they weren't in first place.
The Twins hadn't even had a share of first place until Thursday, and now, 37 minutes after their 162nd game, they were all alone on top, celebrating their ninth trip to postseason in team history.
Gardenhire grabbed a microphone and thanked the fans.
The players sprayed the champagne and beer, hooting and hollering as if there had been no party just like it only six days earlier.
"I've seen them pretty excited," Gardenhire said. "But I have never seen them this excited."
Joe Christensen firstname.lastname@example.org
|Cleveland - LP: T. House||1||FINAL|
|Detroit - WP: A. Simon||4|
|Houston - WP: S. Feldman||9||FINAL|
|Oakland - LP: K. Graveman||3|
|NY Mets - WP: M. Harvey||8||FINAL|
|NY Yankees - LP: C. Sabathia||2|
|Washington - LP: S. Strasburg||0||FINAL|
|Miami - WP: T. Koehler||8|
|Toronto - LP: B. Cecil||2||FINAL|
|Tampa Bay - WP: E. Frieri||4|
|Atlanta - WP: S. Miller||5||FINAL|
|Philadelphia - LP: D. Buchanan||2|
|Boston||3||Bottom 9th Inning|
|St. Louis||5||Top 8th Inning|
|Pittsburgh||1||Top 6th Inning|
|San Francisco||2||Bottom 5th Inning|
|Los Angeles||6||Top 3rd Inning|
|Texas||0||Bottom 2nd Inning|
|Minnesota||1||Top 2nd Inning|
|Golden State||76||3rd Qtr 7:35|
|Nashville||3||2nd Prd 12:40|
|Vancouver||3||1st Prd 5:45|
|Real Salt Lake||0||FINAL|
|Sporting Kansas City||1||2nd Half|