Twins clinch first division title in nine years

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Randy Dobnak throws a first inning pitch while playing the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Randy Dobnak throws a first inning pitch while playing the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park

Randy Dobnak allowed one hit in six strong innings and Luis Arraez and Eddie Rosario homered as the Minnesota Twins routed the Detroit Tigers 5-1 and clinched the American League Central Division title on Wednesday. The Twins earned their first division title in nine years and their 98 wins is their highest victory total since the 1970 team also won 98 games in a season. This is just their second playoff appearance since 2010. "It's wonderful to see people achieve their goals and their dreams," said Rocco Baldelli, Minnesota's first-year manager. "This is a very big mark. It's something that we shoot for. "You can't play beyond this until you get to this point, and knowing that we have an opportunity to play for a World Series is exactly where we want to be right now." Minnesota officially clinched the title when Cleveland lost to the White Sox in a contest which finished later in the evening in Chicago. That game was on television in the Minnesota clubhouse, where the Twins ate and anxiously waited to see if they could celebrate. The previous decade was more successful for Minnesota, who won the division in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2009. That run came to a close after the 2010 title. The Twins are back in the limelight with one of the strongest offences in the league. They have 299 home runs on the season. Dobnak allowed no scoring after an unearned run in the first. He didn't walk a batter. Arraez hit a two-run homer in the seventh off Drew VerHagen. Rosario's two-run homer in the eighth made it 5-1 and put the game out of reach for the Tigers. Detroit starter Daniel Norris struck out five and held the Twins to two hits and no runs in three innings. Elsewhere, Houston Astros Zack Greinke came within two outs of pitching a no-hitter, losing his bid on a single by Seattle rookie Austin Nola in the ninth inning of a 3-0 win over the Mariners. Greinke was in control in his closet attempt ever for a no-hitter, only to see the bid fail. Earlier this season, Greinke had a no-hit bid against Washington broken up in the seventh inning. Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Randy Dobnak throws a first inning pitch while playing the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park