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Indians beat Twins, punch ticket to postseason

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

Smile, Terry Francona: Your Indians are in the postseason. (USATSI)
Smile, Terry Francona: Your Indians are in the postseason. (USATSI)

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The Indians are back in the postseason. Sunday's 5-1 win over the Twins in Minnesota ensured the Indians of the top wild-card spot in the AL. That means they'll host the Rays or Rangers on Tuesday. The winner of that game will advance to face the top-seeded Red Sox in the ALDS.

The Indians end the regular season, their first under manager Terry Francona, on a 10-game winning streak and with an overall record of 92-70, which constitutes a 24-game improvement over their 2012 campaign. They also, more importantly, cinched their first playoff berth since 2007. This marks the first time in franchise history that the Tribe has won a wild-card bid and the 11th playoff berth.

Their last time in the postseason -- 2007 -- they topped the Yankees in the LDS round but then blew a 3-1 series lead to the Francona-led Red Sox in the ALCS. The Indians last won the pennant in 1997 but haven't prevailed in the World Series since 1948.

As for Francona, this will be his third trip to the postseason. His previous two trips, both with the Red Sox, yielded championships in 2004 and 2007.

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