Minnesota (89-65) at Cleveland (75-79)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Cleveland, OH
Temp: 61° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Sat Sep 25, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Minnesota Twins want to open the playoffs at the Metrodome.

The Twins will look to increase their lead in the race for home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs when they continue their four-game series with the Cleveland Indians.

The Twins clinched their third straight AL Central title Monday with an 8-2 win over the Chicago White Sox. Minnesota had never reached the playoffs in three consecutive seasons in its 44-year history.

However, the Twins lost their next three games, including Thursday’s opener against Cleveland. But they bounced back with Friday’s 8-2 win, which left them a half-game ahead of Oakland in the race for home-field advantage.

“It’s nice to get back on the winning track,” manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Johan Santana became the major league’s second 20-game winner, winning his 13th straight decision and 12th consecutive start. His offense gave him plenty of help, jumping out to a 6-0 lead after a five-run fourth inning.

Jacque Jones homered, and Lew Ford had three hits and three RBIS for the Twins, who had won 11 of 13 before their three-game slide.

“We’ve still got things to play for,” Ford said.

Casey Blake homered and Josh Phelps went 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Indians, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Radke Min vs. S. Elarton Phi
11-8 Record 3-11
3.48 ERA 5.90
143 K 103
26 BB 62
1.16 WHIP 1.42