Minneapolis, MN – With 10 straight wins to end the season, the Cleveland Indians could be a team other American League clubs want to avoid in the playoffs.
The Indians secured themselves a home postseason game following a 5-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on the final day of the regular season.
Nick Swisher belted a two-run homer in the opening inning and Ubaldo Jimenez struck out 13 over 6 2/3 frames, as Cleveland (92-70) clinched the top wild card spot and a Wednesday night home contest against either the Tampa Bay Rays or Texas Rangers. Those teams will face each other in a one-game tiebreaker in Arlington Monday night. The winner of Wednesday's contest will face the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS.
"It's like the culmination of everything that you've gone through, all the ups and downs," Indians manager Terry Francona said of making the playoffs. "You see guys from different countries, different upbringings, and they're jumping on the pile and it's just pure joy."
The Indians, who went from 94 losses in 2012 to a playoff team for the first time since 2007, swept the four-game series from the Twins. On Sunday, they became the first team to sweep seven four-game series in a single season since the 1943 St. Louis Cardinals.
Jimenez (13-9) allowed five hits and a run.
Scott Diamond (6-13) surrendered seven hits and four runs -- two earned -- over six frames for the Twins. Minnesota (66-96), which had five hits, lost its final six contests.
"We all know it was a tough year...not a good one at all," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "A few good things happened with some individuals stepping up and performing, but it was not a good year."
Swisher's homer barely cleared the wall in left with Michael Bourn aboard.
The Indians tacked on two runs in the sixth, helped by two errors. Carlos Santana reached safely on Pedro Florimon's throwing gaffe. After Ryan Raburn singled to right, Asdrubal Cabrera put down a bunt in front of the plate. Diamond, though, threw the ball into right field to create a three-run margin. Yan Gomes' sacrifice fly made it 4-0.
Santana's double to right scored Jason Kipnis in the seventh before the Twins got their only run in the bottom half on Eric Fryer's RBI single.
Diamond lost seven of his last eight decisions ... The Indians matched their 10-game winning streak from Aug. 17-27 ... Cleveland is just the sixth MLB team in the modern era (since 1900) to end a season with at least 10 straight wins ... Jimenez has allowed three earned runs or less in 13 straight starts dating back to his first start of the second half on July 22 ... Cleveland went 13-6 versus the Twins this season.