MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- More than 26 hours after the oddly suspended
game began, the Twins gave themselves a chance to open the AL
playoffs at home by finishing a 6-5 victory over the Indians on
Michael Cuddyer's two-out double in the 12th inning Sunday.
The teams were tied at 5-all after 11 innings Saturday when play
was halted at 2:33 p.m. because the Metrodome field needed to be
converted for a college football game between Penn State and
Neither the Twins nor Indians were too pleased about that, but
the wait turned out to be worth it for the hosts. By wrapping up
the longer-than-usual victory with 20 minutes of play Sunday, AL
Central champion Minnesota kept alive its hopes of home-field
advantage in the division playoffs.
The Twins still needed to win their originally scheduled game
against Cleveland later Sunday, and they also needed AL West
champion Anaheim to lose to Oakland. That would allow the Twins to
host the Boston Red Sox in the opening round; otherwise, Minnesota
would begin the playoffs at the New York Yankees.
Jason Bartlett scored the winning run when Cuddyer's line drive
bounced into right-center field and Ryan Ludwick picked it up in
the gap. Cleveland catcher Victor Martinez couldn't get the tag
down fast enough after a perfect relay throw from second baseman
Brandon Phillips, and Bartlett slid underneath the glove.
David Riske (7-3), who started the 12th for the Indians, took
Kyle Lohse (9-12), who was asked to rest for 20 minutes and
return to the mound for the start of Sunday's later game, earned
the victory by throwing 15 pitches. He gave up Ben Broussard's
two-out double in the top of the 12th.
Cleveland's Grady Sizemore missed his chance at hitting for the
cycle. After collecting a single, a triple and a home run Saturday,
he grounded out leading off the 12th and finished 3-for-5 with
three runs. Teammate Josh Phelps homered in the fifth and Casey Blake had two RBI -- missing a chance for more on Sunday when he
flied out to center to end the 12th with runners at first and
Lew Ford, who didn't bat in the 12th, was 4-for-6 with three
runs scored for Minnesota.
Bert Blyleven, now a Twins television analyst, presented
Johan Santana with a framed white No. 265 jersey before the first
game in honor of Santana's team-record and AL-high 265 strikeouts.
Blyleven set the old mark of 258 in 1973. ... Cleveland's Ben Broussard, whose double with two outs in the 12th made him 3-for-5,
was removed for pinch-runner John McDonald. ... A day after
bobblehead dolls bearing his likeness were given to fans, Minnesota
rookie catcher Joe Mauer caught the ceremonial first pitch from his
grandfather, Mike Tierney. A knee injury limited Mauer to 107
at-bats this year.