The Wrap: AL
There were a lot of good quotes from Thursday's games so let's enjoy them all by having a quote to go with each recap.
"We just didn't want to see them celebrating."
-- Twins outfielder Denard Span on his team keeping the Tigers from clinching the AL Central
The Twins came through in what was a must-win game, staving off elimination from the postseason chase by pounding out 13 hits and putting away the Tigers. Detroit remains in the driver's seat, however, two games up on Minnesota heading into the final weekend of the season. The Twins' top four hitters in the lineup drove seven of the team's runs in. Minnesota now returns home to play the Royals in what could be the final three baseball games ever at the Metrodome. Detroit will also be at home as it faces the White Sox with the chance to wrap up its first division title since 1987, back when they were part of the AL East.
"It was like time stood still for about 15 seconds. I had to let it just sink in for a while."
-- Orioles Manager Dave Trembley on the team finally winning a game
The Orioles put an end to the team's worst losing streak in two decades by hanging on to beat the Tampa Bay Rays. The outcome was fitting, as Baltimore allowed the Rays to end an 11-game skid against them over two weeks ago. Chris Waters made his first start of the season and got the win, allowing one run and two hits over five innings. Considering the fact that Waters had an ERA over eight this year in a handful of relief appearances, it's more than a bit shocking that he'd be the pitcher to end the team's skid. All of Baltimore's runs came courtesy of singles from Nick Markakis, Melvin Mora and Jeff Fiorentino. Tampa Bay threatened late, scoring one run and had runners on first and third before Jim Johnson closed out his ninth save of the season.
"It was really nice to see him pitch as well as he did for a lot of reasons."
-- Red Sox Manager Terry Francona on pitcher Jon Lester
Jon Lester tossed 6 1/3 innings of scoreless ball, showing no ill effects in his first start since taking a comebacker off his leg. Lester has now won seven of his last eight decisions and put an end to Boston's six-game losing streak. Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Jason Bay each drove in a run, while the Red Sox only won by three runs, they outhit the Indians, 12-3, in Cleveland's 11th shutout of the season.
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