After officially being eliminated from the playoffs, the Minnesota Twins can look to their struggles at home as a big reason why they’ll spend the offseason there.
Minnesota (73-77) continues a three-game series against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, looking for just its third win in the last 10 games at the Metrodome.
The Twins ended a four-game losing streak Monday with a 5-4 win over the Rangers (70-80). Travis Metcalf’s homer in the ninth put Texas ahead 4-3, but Michael Cuddyer homered in the bottom of the inning and Ian Kinsler dropped Jason Bartlett’s popout with two outs, allowing Lew Ford to score the winning run.
“How about that? Maybe in Little League, but I’ve never seen a game end like that. That was pretty fun,” Torii Hunter said.
The ball hit the glove of the backpedaling Kinsler, who had not made an error in 50 games.
“There wasn’t really anything special. It wasn’t the dome or anything like that. A bug didn’t fly in my eye like that. I just dropped it,” Kinsler said.
Despite the win, defending AL Central champion Minnesota was eliminated from the playoffs after the wild card-leading New York Yankees beat Baltimore. After beginning play on Aug. 27 just 5 1/2 games behind Cleveland in the division, the Twins went 6-14.
“Yeah, we’re accustomed to playing for a playoff spot at this time of year. Four out of five years we’ve been there, but we’ve still got prideful people. Nobody’s going to quit; nobody’s gonna roll over; nobody’s going to give up,” Cuddyer said.
The Twins will hand the ball to Carlos Silva (11-14, 4.44 ERA), who is trying to win for the first time in three starts. He lasted just two innings on Wednesday before leaving with a pulled groin in a 6-2 loss to Kansas City. He allowed three runs and five hits.
Silva is 2-4 with a 4.86 ERA in eight career starts against the Rangers. This season, he’s 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA in two starts against them.
Kevin Millwood (9-12, 5.51) will start for Texas. He pitched just 4 2-3 innings Thursday against Oakland, allowing six runs and eight hits in a 6-5 loss.
The right-hander walked three and struck out four. He has not recorded a win since Aug. 30 against the Chicago White Sox.
“They just jumped on him quick early,” Texas rookie manager Ron Washington said. “They got to him in the first, got to him in the third, got to him in the fifth. He got his pitch count up.”
Millwood is 0-4 with a 6.16 ERA in seven career starts against the Twins. He allowed one run and four hits in seven innings against them in a 1-0 loss on Aug. 19.