The Twins clinched at least a share of the AL Central crown, coming back to beat the Indians with a four-run eighth. Justin Masterson, who will finish the season in the bullpen, entered the game in the seventh, got out of the inning, and came out in the eighth to bridge the gap to Chris Perez. But he allowed three straight hits to begin the inning, and things got worse from there. Tony Sipp came in to try to limit the damage, but the Twins would take the lead on a Denard Span single, and Orlando Hudson would add an insurance run with a double into the gap.
Fausto Carmona started strong, giving up one run in his first five innings (an uncharacteristic line-drive home run by LGFT Jim Thome). But after he got the two outs in the sixth, he allowed a walk and two singles to cut the lead to 4-2. Manny Acta pulled him, and had to use his bullpen an inning earlier than he probably would have liked.
The Twins will win the division going away, but you wonder what would have happened had the White Sox re-signed Thome, leaving Minnesota to settle for someone else. Chicago DHs are hitting .243/.326/.393, while Twins DHs (mostly Thome) are hitting .266/.374/.489 despite having to play half their games in one of the most pitching-friendly parks in baseball.
Congratulations to the Columbus Clippers, who not only won the International League this past week, but capped their season with a 12-6 victory over the PCL Champions Tacoma Rainiers in a one-game AAA Championship Game. Jason Kipnis missed a second straight cycle by just a single, and Jerad Head had three hits, including two doubles. A lot of the talent that propelled the Clippers through most of the regular season were in Cleveland by early August (Michael Brantley, Carlos Carrasco, Carlos Santana, et al), making this playoff run that much more impressive.
|Highest WPA||Lowest WPA|
|Fausto Carmona||.116||Tony Sipp||-.413|
|Drew Sutton||.112||Justin Masterson||-.243|
|Rafael Perez||.080||Trevor Crowe||-.152|