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Indians clinch share of wild-card spot with win on Saturday

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Michael Bourn and the Indians have guaranteed themselves at least a Game 163.
Michael Bourn and the Indians have guaranteed themselves at least a Game 163. (USATSI)

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With their 5-1 win over the Twins on Saturday, the Indians have clinched at least a share of an AL wild-card spot. They will, at the very worst, play a tiebreaker game on Monday to determine a wild-card spot.

A two-run home run by Carlos Santana and a two-run double by Michael Bourn paced the offense on Saturday. Left-hander Scott Kazmir had one of his best starts of the season, holding Minnesota to one run on six singles and two walks in six innings. He struck out 11 and finishes his comeback season with a 4.04 ERA in 158 innings.

The race for the two AL wild-card spots remains wide open with just one day left in the regular season. The Indians currently own the first spot while the Rays and Rangers are tied for the second. Cleveland can clinch a wild-card spot outright with a win on Sunday. They control their own destiny.

The Rays and Rangers have it a little more difficult. For either of those teams to clinch a wild-card spot outright, they will have to win while the other loses on Sunday. If both win or both lose, there will be at least one tiebreaker game. It will take wins by Tampa and Texas as well as an Indians loss for a three-way tie. Obviously baseball fans everywhere should root for that wholeheartedly. It would be awesome.

The Tribe had the easiest scheduled of the various wild-card contenders down the stretch and they took advantage. They've won nine straight games.

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