Twins’ position: Still hanging around, although things could have been much better heading into Thursday's final regular season road game. After a 7-1 victory in Game 1 of a doubleheader in Cleveland the Twins were trounced 10-2 by the Indians about 5 minutes before the Angels also lost. Houston won a late-night game in Seattle meaning the idle Astros are now in the second AL wild card spot. The Angels are a half game back while the Twins face an uphill battle 1.5 games behind.
Twins games remaining: 4 (3 home, 1 road)
Games to watch today: 2
Twins at Cleveland (6:10 p.m., FSN) The question of the day will be: Which Twins team shows up? With Tyler Duffey on the mound, you sure expect it to be the one that put a hurting on the Indians on Wednesday afternoon. Duffey has proved Minnesota's most effective starter in the second half and will try to boost the Twins' playoff hopes with another stellar outing versus Cleveland on Thursday night. He was sent down after being tagged for six runs in two innings in his major league debut Aug. 5 in Toronto but got another chance 10 days later. Duffey made the most of that opportunity by taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He eventually allowed just Francisco Lindor's double in a 4-1 victory. Duffey is 5-0 with a 2.17 ERA in his last eight starts and has won each of his past three. He gave up two runs over six innings in a 6-2 victory in Detroit on Saturday.
L.A. Angels at Texas (7:05, No local TV): This season-ending series is more about the AL West division race, which Texas leads Anaheim by three, than the wild card. But Twins fans will no doubt have an interest how it develops. The Rangers have all but sealed up the West; they will knock Anaheim out of the division race with one win and the magic number to dispose of Houston is two. At this point, any loss for the two teams ahead of the Twins in the standings is a good thing. And here’s some hope: Derek Holland is 0-2 with an 8.59 ERA over his last four starts and lefthander had a scare in the first inning Saturday, when he was hit in the left middle finger by a line drive just above his head. He remained in the game and allowed four runs and three homers in five innings while not getting a decision in a 9-7 loss at Houston.
Remaining schedule for teams in the AL wild card hunt:
Information from the Associated Press was used in this blog.