Twins’ position: Another game, another victory, another day of staying in place in the standings. The Astros (83-74), Angels (82-74) and Twins (81-75) are all on winning streaks, with both AL West teams earning one-run victories late Monday. The Twins remain 1½ games behind the Astros and a game behind the Angels for the second wild card with six games remaining in the regular season. One minor development: The Twins pretty much ruined the Indians' chances, as they are five games back of the Astros with seven games to play and two other teams to leapfrog.
Twins games remaining: 6 (3 home, 3 road)
Games to watch today: 4
Twins at Cleveland (6:10 p.m., FSN): The last time Kyle Gibson took the mound, the Twins were even with the Astros in the loss column, meaning the Twins controlled their own destiny, to borrow a football term. But Gibson couldn't complete three innings against the Indians on Thursday at Target Field, giving up six runs in a 6-3 loss. The Twins have been one loss behind the Astros every day ever since. Gibson had pitched well in September before that game, but the Twins need him to deliver against a team he has pitched poorly against (1-2, 6.99 ERA in six starts) throughout his young career. Cody Anderson, who coasted against the Twins on Thursday after getting handed a six-run lead, will again pitch for the Indians.
Houston at Seattle (9 p.m., no local TV): The Astros again showed why they have had such a turnaround season in their 3-2 victory over the Mariners on Monday: Good pitching and plenty of power. They hit three solo homers to back rookie Lance McCullers in beating Seattle 3-2. With Texas' third loss in a row, Houston pulled within 1½ games of the Rangers in the AL West. Tuesday, Mike Fiers makes his ninth start for Houston. He is 0-1 with a 4.38 ERA in four September starts and has never faced the Mariners before. Seattle starts lefthander Vidal Nuno on three days' rest, as he got roughed up by the Angels his last time out.
Oakland at L.A. Angels (9 p.m., ESPN): The Angels are back from the dead because of an MLB-best 17-8 record this month that includes their current six-game winning streak, with Monday's 5-4 victory over Oakland coming on a walk-off single by David Murphy. Tuesday, Nick Tropeano is scheduled to make his fourth start this month, filling in for Matt Shoemaker, who has a forearm problem and might not pitch again this year. Tropeano pitched good enough for the Angels in his last appearance, giving up two unearned runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Astros on Wednesday in a game Los Angeles won 6-5. Oakland counters with Chris Bassitt, who is 1-7 but has a 3.07 ERA and a 2.28 ERA at home.
Detroit at Texas (7 p.m., no local TV): The Rangers don't appear in the wild-card standings, but with their lead in the AL West down to 1½ games over the Astros and two games over the Angels, it's worth keeping an eye on them too, particularly since they finish the season with four games against the Angels. They have Cole Hamels scheduled to pitch Tuesday, and the lefthander is 5-1 with a 3.41 ERA in 10 starts since the trade that injected life into Texas' season. The Tigers counter with Daniel Norris, the top prospect they received from Toronto in the David Price trade; he pitched five perfect innings his last start against the White Sox but was removed because of a pitch limit, which he likely will be on again Tuesday.