The Wrap: AL
AL Quote of the Night
"Have we been perfect? No. Do you wish you would've had it wrapped right now? Do you think you should've? Yes."
-- Tigers Manager Jim Leyland on his team tying the Twins for the AL Central lead
The Tigers manage to end a three-game losing streak just in time as Detroit's win along with Minnesota's creates a one-game playoff for the AL Central title. The Tigers got 7-2/3 innings of three-run ball out of staff ace Justin Verlander who picked up his 19th win of the season, a new career high that ties him for the major league-lead for victories. Ryan Raburn homered twice for Detroit, hitting a two-run shot in the second inning and a solo blast in the sixth. The Tigers' other run also came courtesy of the long ball as Magglio Ordonez went deep in the fifth inning.
Minnesota picked up its fourth straight win to force the aforementioned playoff with Detroit. Despite being in the lead for six days compared to the Tigers' 162, the Twins will host Tuesday's tiebreaker having won the season series, 11 games to seven. Sunday's game never seemed to be in doubt as Minnesota got to Kansas City starter Luke Hochevar early, scoring four runs in the first inning and eventually knocking out the young right-hander after seven runs and three innings. Jason Kubel led the Twins' offense, going 3 for 4 with six RBI while three other players drove in two runs apiece.
The Orioles wrapped up their worst season in nearly a decade on a high note, winning their last four games including a three-game home sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays. First baseman Michael Aubrey scored the winning run on pitcher Brandon League's second throwing error of the 11th inning. While the game was short on meaning for the two last-place teams in the AL East, a few Orioles still reached milestones. Nick Markakis drove in his elusive 100th run of the season, the second time he's done that in his four seasons. Pitcher Jeremy Guthrie reached 200 innings pitched for the first time in his career, a small silver lining on a dismal season for Baltimore's opening day starter as he finished the year with a major league-worst 17 losses. Third baseman Melvin Mora, easily the longest-tenured Oriole after having spent 10 years in Baltimore, likely played his last game in an O's uniform as the 37-year-old's contract is up.
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