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Twins beat Tigers to take American League Central title

By
Alex Butler
Nelson Cruz leads the Minnesota Twins with 40 home runs in 2019. The Twins are tied with the New York Yankees with a Major League Baseball record 299 homers on the season. File Photo by Trask Smith/UPI
Nelson Cruz leads the Minnesota Twins with 40 home runs in 2019. The Twins are tied with the New York Yankees with a Major League Baseball record 299 homers on the season. File Photo by Trask Smith/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Home runs were the calling card this year for the Minnesota Twins, but it took a stellar pitching performance for the team to capture the American League West with a win against the Detroit Tigers.

Twins starter Randy Dobnak allowed one hit and one unearned run in six innings Wednesday in Detroit. Luis Arraez and Eddie Rosario homered in the 5-1 victory at Comerica Park. The Chicago White Sox later secured the Twins' division title by beating the Cleveland Indians 8-3 Wednesday in Chicago.

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"[Dobnak] was awesome," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli told reporters. "His latest outings have resembled each other. He is one-upping himself somehow every time he goes out there. He was locked in from the very beginning."

The Tigers (46-111) took a 1-0 lead with an RBI double from Jeimer Candelario in the bottom of the first inning. Arraez pushed the Twins (98-60) ahead with a two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning. The 401-foot blast had an exit velocity of 101 mph and left the field in 4.8 seconds, according to Statcast.

Nelson Cruz gave the Twins a 3-1 edge with an RBI single in the top of the eighth inning. Rosario smacked his 32nd home run of the season in the next at-bat. The two-run shot traveled 378 feet and had an exit velocity of 103 mph.

The Twins clinched the division for the first time since 2010 and are headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2017. The Twins are tied with the New York Yankees for the most home runs hit by a team during the regular season in MLB history at 299.

Milwaukee has a record five players with at least 30 home runs in 2019. Cruz leads the crew with 40 long balls this season. Cruz is also hitting .305 with 106 RBis.

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"I was just focusing on trying to get deep into the game and give our team a chance to win the game," Dobnak told Fox Sports North. "I did that and we came out on top. The runs in the seventh were huge. Arraez doesn't go yard much, but that was huge for us."

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The Tigers host the Twins in the final game of the series at 1:10 p.m. EDT Thursday in Detroit.

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