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Big League Stew

Indians clinch share of AL wild card, but three-way tie possibility still exists

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

The AL wild card won't be sorted out until Sunday at the earliest, but we do know the Cleveland Indians did clinch a share of the title following their 5-1 victory against the Minnesota Twins. They also moved one game ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays, who lost 7-2 to the Blue Jays.

The victory guarantees that Cleveland's season won't end Sunday. With one game remaining, they also hold a one-game lead over the Texas Rangers, who defeated the Angels 7-4. So their worst-case scenario is now a three-way tie. We'll have more on that later in the post.

Scott Kazmir, who spent 90 minutes stuck in an elevator on Thursday night, pitched Cleveland into the lead by carving up Minnesota's lineup. Over six innings, he fanned 11. Kazmir's offensive support came from Carlos Santana, who opened the scoring with a two-run homer in the fourth. Michael Bourn added a two-run double in the fifth that locked the game up and put Cleveland in the wild-card driver's seat heading into Sunday.

For all the scenarios we've had to digest this week, it's really simple for Cleveland. With a win Sunday, they will host the AL wild card game at Progressive Field on Wednesday night. The rest will be up to the Rays and Rangers to determine who joins them.

If they lose, the possibility of a three-way tie exists pending victories by the Rays and Rangers. That would be Cleveland's worst-case scenario, since they would have to beat Tampa Bay on Monday, or Texas on Tuesday, just to get back to Wednesday.

If you're looking for more on the three-way tie possibility scenarios, Mike Oz broke it all down on Friday.

Simply put, if you love chaos, you'll be rooting against the Indians on Sunday, since they have to lose for it to be possible. If you love the Indians, well, just hope for a win. Without one, you may have a difficult time sleeping on Sunday night.

The season is winding down but we're just warming up!
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