The Minnesota Twins wrapped up their regular season with a win. Up next? Another agonizing afternoon spent cheering against the Chicago White Sox.
Scott Baker scattered four singles in seven shutout innings, pitching the Twins past the Kansas City Royals 6-0 on Sunday to preserve their half-game lead in the AL Central.
The White Sox snapped their five-game losing streak by beating Cleveland 5-1, pushing the season into an extra day.
Today, Detroit visits Chicago for a makeup game. If the White Sox win, they'll host the Twins on Tuesday in a one-game playoff to determine the division title and the first-round opponent for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Delmon Young's two-run single and Joe Mauer's two-run triple gave Baker (11-4) some extra insurance, and relievers Jose Mijares and Joe Nathan finished the final two innings to give Minnesota an 88-74 record - far exceeding almost every forecast.
Mauer took a five-point lead against Boston's Dustin Pedroia in the AL batting race into the game and went 2-for-5 to finish at .330.
It was a rather subdued victory, though, given losses to the Royals the previous two days that took the luster out of an inspired three-game sweep of Chicago earlier in the week. The Twins went 14-20 since Aug. 22.
Baker wasn't a part of that, though. Minnesota's best pitcher down the stretch, the right-hander breezed through another critical start. He went 4-0 in his final six appearances, including a 9-3 win against the White Sox on Tuesday to help spark the sweep.