Twins fall out of first place in AL Central after Cleveland beats Red Sox

Twins play-by-play voice Cory Provus says the Indians were better in weekend series at Target Field

Dan Cook
August 12, 2019 - 4:05 pm
Carlos Santana

Jason Miller / Getty Images

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The Twins are out of first place in the AL Central for the first time since April 19.

Cleveland vaulted over the Twins by a half-game by beating the Red Sox Monday night 6-5 on a walk-off home run by Carlos Santana.

Yes, the same Carlos Santana whose grand slam was the difference in the Indians' dramatic win at Target Field on Sunday.

Monday was an off day for the Twins, who open a two-game interleague series at Milwaukee on Tuesday night.

The Twins moved into first place in the division with a doubleheader sweep in Baltimore on April 20, while the Indians were losing to Atlanta.

During the 100-plus day the Twins led the AL Central, their lead was as large at 11 1/2 games on June 2.

A record hovering around .500 since then, and the Indians' torrid streak, changed the standings.

The Twins now have the best record among teams not in first place in the American League, which puts them in the first wild card spot.

At 71-47, they lead Tampa Bay by two games, with Oakland two games behind the Rays.

The two non-division winners with the best regular season records in both leagues meet in a one-game playoff to begin baseball's postseason.

The winner moves on, the loser is done.

The Voice of the Twins, Cory Provus, is a regular on Monday’s with Chad Hartman. Coming off the heels of dropping three of four to Cleveland, there's one question on most people’s minds: are the Indians flat-out better than the Twins?

“They were better this weekend,” Provus said, “But if you look at the remaining schedule and the opponent winning percentage, the Twins still have a more favorable schedule and it’s not even close.”

He points to two significant stretches against the soft underbelly of the AL Central as being key for Minnesota.

“The Twins this week will play teams with winning records,” said Provus, “but after that they’re done for a while. The last two weeks in August and the last two weeks in September almost mirror one other, Chad. There’s a lot of White Sox and Tigers and Royals in those stretches there. And that first stretch is coming up on the next home stand.”

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Which isn’t to say their current stretch isn’t significant as well.

“This is an important road trip,” Provus said, “That’s happening (playing Milwaukee and Texas) while (Cleveland is) playing the Red Sox, then they go face the Yankees in New York for four. They stay in New York to play the Mets who are red-hot for three. So they’ve got some challenging games upcoming as well.”

Listen to the entire interview with Chad Hartman here:

 

 

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