MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Bartolo Colon made a final bid to be included in Minnesota’s postseason rotation, pitching one-run ball into the seventh inning to lead the Twins to a 5-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers in the regular-season finale Sunday.
Jason Castro homered and drove in three runs for the Twins, who play an AL wild-card game in New York against the Yankees on Tuesday night (6:00 pre-game, 7:10 first pitch on KGLO). A win would put the Twins in an ALDS against Cleveland, where Minnesota may need an experienced arm like Colon (5-6).
Anibal Sanchez (3-7) gave up three runs and seven hits and struck out six in five innings for the Tigers, who missed the postseason for the third straight year and will go into the offseason looking for a manager to replace Brad Ausmus. Alex Presley hit a solo homer in the third inning.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Anthony Zettel led a ferocious performance by Detroit’s defense with two sacks, four hurries and a fumble recovery, as the Lions forced three turnovers while holding Minnesota scoreless in the second half on the way to a 14-7 victory over the Vikings on Sunday afternoon.
The Lions turned two fumbles lost by the Vikings in the third quarter into 11 points, taking the lead on Ameer Abdullah’s 1-yard touchdown run five plays after rookie Dalvin Cook fumbled at the Minnesota 29.
The Vikings (2-2) lost more than just possession, when Cook limped off with an injury to his left knee and did not return.
Tahir Whitehead recovered that fumble for the Lions, plus one by Adam Thielen with 1:43 left at the Detroit 45 that ended the last-chance drive for the Vikings.
Case Keenum started in place of Sam Bradford at quarterback for the Vikings for the third straight game, going 16 for 30 for 219 yards.
The Vikings had only 120 yards in the second half.
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Brian Lewerke threw two touchdown passes to Felton Davis in the first quarter, and Michigan State held on for a 17-10 victory over Iowa on Saturday.
The Spartans (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) dominated early, and their defense forced two crucial turnovers in the third quarter. Iowa (3-2, 0-2) managed only 19 yards rushing and has now lost its first two conference games for the first time since 2008.
Akrum Wadley scored for Iowa on a 9-yard run in the second quarter, but he was held to 30 yards on 17 carries.
The Hawkeyes trailed 17-7 at halftime but were on the verge of scoring on the first drive of the third quarter. After a successful fake field goal, Iowa was inside the 10-yard line, but quarterback Nate Stanley had the ball slip out of his hand as he began a throwing motion, and linebacker Joe Bachie came diving in to catch it out of the air.
Brandon Smith fumbled the ball away in Michigan State territory on Iowa’s next possession.
The Spartans held on at the end after Lewerke scrambled for a first down on third-and-12 with under 4:00 to play. By the time Iowa got the ball back, the Hawkeyes were back at their own 16 with 45 seconds remaining.
CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) – Eli Dunne was 26-of-36 passing for 266 yards and three touchdowns and the Northern Iowa defense forced three fourth-quarter turnovers to help Panthers beat Southern Illinois 24-17 on Saturday night in the Missouri Valley Conference opener for both teams.
Daurice Fountain had seven catches for 106 yards and a score and Trevor Allen had 75 yards rushing on 18 carries and added an 11-yard touchdown reception for Northern Iowa (2-2).
Sam Drysdale kicked a 45-yard field goal to give Northern Iowa a 3-0 lead with 4:01 left in the first quarter and, after the Salukis went three-and-out, Dunne’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Fountain made it 10-0 early in the second. Matt Sotiropoulos hit a 32-yard field goal put Southern Illinois on the board with 4:24 left in the half, but a 42-yard reception by Fountain set up a 4-yard TD catch by Elias Nessen that made it 17-3 at the break.
Kyron Watson forced, and then recovered, a fumble by Allen and, four plays later, Sam Straub hit Jacob Varble for a 5-yard touchdown that pulled the Salukis to 24-17 with 11:17 to play, but the Panthers forced turnovers on each of Southern Illinois’ next three possessions – including an interception by Jake Hartford at the 3 with 1:47 remaining.