It's pretty simple what has happened.
The Twins have done what they have needed to do, and everyone else has failed.
The Angels have lost six straight, including the last two to Houston. They have had some matchups lately. That brought the Rangers within a prayer of the second wild card spot, but Texas coughed up just four hits while losing 1-0 last night to an A's team that has little to play for.
So the Twins wake up today with a 41/2 game lead for the second wild card spot. Barring a total collapse, they are taking this one to the house. Remember, the Twins have not lost more than four consecutive games all season.
On Sunday, they will have a chance to sweep Detroit in a four-game series. The Tigers have lost 13 of their last 15 games, and are showing little fight once they fall behind. Twins manager Paul Molitor often talks about being greedy at these times, and this sure is one opportunity they need to pounce on.
Twins outfielder Max Kepler was not in the starting lineup as he deals with a sore left hip he suffered while fielding and throwing a ball back into the infield on Saturday.
Kepler received treatment on his injury before the game, and indicated that he's doesn't believe it is serious and considers himself to be available off the bench today.
"They are saying that it is just a bruise," Kepler said, "and I believe that. I would not say it is comfortable but it is manageable."
Zack Granite will start in place of Kepler, but will play left field while Eddie Rosario slides over to right.
Tigers righthander Alex Wilson spoke to reporters today while sitting on a couch in Detroit's clubhouse. His right leg was in a hard cast after a liner from Joe Mauer in the eighth inning led to a fracture.
Wilson said the break is about three inches above his ankle, and that he should be, "good to go," by the middle of December.
A Tigers reported mentioned how strange it was for Mauer to hit him since he usually hits everything to left.
"I almost feel just as bad for him," Wilson said of Mauer. "He's like the nicest guy in baseball."
Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, DH
Jorge Polanco, SS
Eddie Rosario, RF
Eduardo Escobar, 3B
Byron Buxton, CF
Jason Castro, C
Kennys Vargas, 1B
Zack Granite, LF
Jose Berrios, RHP
Ian Kinsler, DH
Alex Presley, RF
Nicholas Castellanos, 3B
Efrem Navarro, 1B
James McCann, C
Dixon Machado, 2B
Andrew Romine, LF
JaCoby Jones, CF
Jose Iglesias, SS
Buck Farmer, RHP