2020-09-26 22:55:36 –
One week ago in an empty Wrigley Field, the Twins clinched a spot in the playoffs. There was little fanfare on the field — the Twins congratulated each other like a team that had been there before before, holding a small celebration in the visitors’ clubhouse at the historic ballpark.
The prevailing message: This is just step one. There’s more to come.
The Twins took another step toward setting themselves up for first-round success Saturday, beating the Reds 7-3 at Target Field and securing home-field advantage for the wild card series.
The Twins had a chance to clinch the division Saturday, but they didn’t get the help they needed from the Cubs, who squandered a 5-2 lead in losing 9-5 to the White Sox. The Twins head into the final day of the season with a one-game lead over the White Sox, who hold the tiebreaker.
The Twins were keyed by a 4-for-4 day from Luis Arraez. Arraez, starting after being activated from the injured list earlier in the day, showed that his knee and ankle are doing just fine.
In his first at-bat, Arraez fought through a 12-pitch battle against Reds starter Luis Castillo to deliver a double to center. In his next two at-bats, Arraez doubled home Max Kepler each time. He also had an RBI single later in the game.
Arraez’s three-double game was part of an eight double-night for the Twins, one shy of the club record. An Eddie Rosario double in the third brought home Arraez right after his second double of the game.
Michael Pineda, in his last tune-up before the playoffs, threw 80 pitches in a four-inning start. Pineda ran into trouble in the first inning, walking a pair of batters and allowing two runs while requiring more than 30 pitches to get three outs.
Pineda somewhat settled in after that, tossing three scoreless innings before his departure.