User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Tribe clinch Wild Card with win over Twins

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - As he dived through the clubhouse on a makeshift slip-and-slide drenched with beer and champagne, a euphoric Nick Swisher could only think about how far his Cleveland Indians had come, and how quickly they got there.

Advertisement
They staggered into September on a five-game skid that had them all but finished in the AL playoff picture and entered the final two weeks of the season essentially needing to win every game to scratch their way into the postseason. And they did just that.

Cleveland earned its first postseason berth since 2007, beating the Minnesota Twins 5-1 Sunday to clinch an AL wild card as Ubaldo Jimenez tied a career high with 13 strikeouts.

Swisher homered in the first inning for the Indians, who became the first major league team to win its final 10 regular-season games since the 1971 Baltimore Orioles finished with 11 straight victories, according to STATS.

``The way we've been playing as of late, talk about starting pitching, talk about clutch hitting from our guys,'' a goggled Swisher hollered amid the celebration. ``I'm telling you, we're bringing that wild card game back to the 216 and that place is going to be packed out and rockin', baby!''

Cleveland will host Tampa Bay or Texas, who will play a tiebreaker on Monday, in the one-game AL wild-card playoff on Wednesday night.

Jimenez (13-9) gave up one run and five hits in 6 2-3 innings for the Indians, the first team to sweep seven four-game series in one regular season since the 1943 St. Louis Cardinals. After the final out, Cleveland players mobbed each other on the diamond in a jubilant celebration.

``I'm so crazy about this group of guys,'' first-year manager Terry Francona said. ``From ownership to baseball ops to the clubhouse guys, to be able to stand here and say the Indians are going to the playoffs, I'm so proud of everybody.''

Scott Diamond (6-13) gave up four runs - two earned - and seven hits for the Twins (66-96).

Carlos Santana and Yan Gomes also drove in runs for the Indians, who entered with a one-game lead over Tampa Bay and Texas. If the Indians had lost Sunday and the Rays and Rangers won, two days of tiebreaker games would have been needed to determine the wild cards.

Jimenez and the Indians wanted no part of that.

After giving up a leadoff single to Alex Presley in the first, the right-hander retired 17 straight. He was on a run of five strikeouts in a row when he walked Presley with two outs in the sixth and gave up a single to Brian Dozier. But Jimenez threw a called third strike past Trevor Plouffe to end the threat. Jimenez went 4-0 with a 1.09 ERA and 51 strikeouts in six September starts.

``It's really good,'' Jimenez said. ``We're going to start that game knowing we have played really good lately. We're going to be bringing everything we have, especially (because) it's only a one-game playoff. Anything can happen. Definitely we have a lot of confidence right now. Hopefully we get that game.''

Swisher's two-run homer landed just over the flower bed in left field in the first inning and the Indians tacked on two more in the sixth thanks in part to throwing errors by shortstop Pedro Florimon and Diamond.

Cleveland lost at least 93 games in three of the previous four seasons. But the Indians increased their wins total by 24 games this year behind a strong pitching staff and Francona, a rejuvenated manager who has found a home in Cleveland after a messy end to his tenure in Boston in 2011. Their 21-6 record in September is the best in the majors, and they feasted on a soft schedule.

The Indians won 15 of their last 17 games, beating up on the White Sox, Royals, Astros and Twins, but they're not apologizing.

``We needed every one of them,'' general manager Chris Antonetti said. ``We never set any limits on what we can do as a team. It's been really fulfilling to see how we've come together and it's a testament to this group of guys and the way they've continually picked each other up. It's a really resilient group that had some tough stretches but always rebounded. It's been fun to see.''

And it's not over yet.

``I just hope we get to keep playing,'' Francona said. ``We don't want to go home.''

NOTES: The Twins offense reached double digits in strikeouts for a game for the 66th time this season. The previous franchise high for a season was 26. ... Indians 2B Jason Kipnis stole his 30th base of the season in the seventh inning, his second straight season to reach that plateau.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Rogers: Thursday's Tip Sheet
Akins: Diamond Trends - Thursday
Jays win 3rd straight, blank Red Sox
Yankees edge Rangers, 'under' hits
Twins trade 1B Morales to Mariners
Rangers promote Adcock after trade
Royals deal Paredes to Orioles
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
16-5 L21 Guarantees, +7,788 TY
13-2 L15 Totals, +2,822 This Year
8-1 L3 Days +2,440 This Season
13-6, +973 Record Last 5 Days
14-4 G-Plays, +1,721 This Year
+2,432 Net Proftis This Year
12-4 MLB Win Streak
+1,874 Overall This Year
5-2 L7, +2,274 MLB Totals TY
5-2 +519 L7 G-Plays, +1,514 TY
10-4 Last 14 MLB Totals
6-0 L6, 12-3 +937 L15 Guarantees
6-3 +295 Y'day, +1,801 TY
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks - Detroit Tigers at Los Angeles Angels
2014 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 7788
Bruce Marshall + 2822
Mike Rose + 2440
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 3009
James Manos + 2402
Dave Cokin + 1477
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2569
Matt Zylbert + 2274
Tony Stoffo + 1239
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 999
Doc's Sports + 987
Antony Dinero + 674
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 3752
Mike Rose + 1827
Kevin Rogers + 1585
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 1619
Bruce Marshall + 1260
The Gold Sheet + 1224
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!