CLEVELAND (AP) – The Minnesota Twins became the first team to make the playoffs after losing at least 100 games the previous season, clinching an AL wild-card berth on Wednesday night when the Los Angeles Angles lost 6-4 in 10 innings at Chicago.
The Twins couldn’t secure their first spot in the postseason by themselves, losing 4-2 to the Indians, but that hardly mattered for a team that has overcome adversity and defied expectations while joining October’s elite.
They won only 59 games a year ago, and it seemed as if the young Twins would be lucky to be competitive when the season began. But they got hot in August and haven’t looked back in becoming the 13th team – and first since the 2009 Seattle Mariners – to go from 100-plus losses to a winning record the following season.
Nearly two hours after losing, the Twins began a celebration that seemed unimaginable two months ago.
Minnesota will play at either Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park in the wild-card game Tuesday night. Boston holds a three-game lead over New York in the AL East race.
CLEVELAND (AP) – Minnesota Twins slugger Miguel Sano took his first swings in more than a month, raising hope that he might able to play in the postseason. Sano, who is not traveling with the club, has been on the disabled list since Aug. 20 with a left shin injury. Sano has missed 37 games, and it’s still not clear if he would be able to play in the wild-card game on Tuesday.
AMES — Thursday nights have been kind to Iowa State over the years and the Cyclones hope that continues when they open the Big-12 race at home against Texas. ISU is 10-4 on Thursday nights and a national television audience will also provide an opportunity to showcase the program.
“It is magical and special and the thing this does is it opens the curtain to Iowa State”, said Iowa State coach Matt Campbell. “This is why you go play the game and I think the best advantage we have is that we are playing at home.”
The Cyclones have displayed balance on offense in a 2-1 start that has seen them average more than 40 points per game. A key will be getting running back David Montgomery going against a stout Longhorn front seven.
“I am sure we will have a nice balance and I know our coaches have got a good game plan going in”, said Cyclone quarterback Jacob Park. “But if we have got to throw it 50 times we will throw it.”
Former Cyclone assistant Tom Herman is in his first season as Texas coach. The Longhorns are 1-2 after a double overtime loss at USC. Herman spent three years at Iowa State and knows the Cyclones and the crowd will be ready for this game.
“Anytime a big name comes into town that place is rocking”, said Herman. “It’s a really neat college football atmosphere and I would imagine it will be much of the same on Thursday night.”
Texas leads the all-time series 12-2 but in their last visit to Ames in 2015 the Longhorns were blanked 24-0. Kickoff in Jack Trice Stadium is 7:00p.m. The game will be televised by ESPN.
IOWA CITY — Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley expects the Michigan State defense to bring pressure when the teams meet in East Lansing on Saturday. The Penn State defense bottled up Iowa’s ground game by using a variety of blitzes in the first half of the Nittany Lions’ 21-19 win in Iowa City.
Stanley and the offense adjusted in the second half and even beat the Penn State blitz with several big plays.
Stanley had a big day in his first road game, an overtime victory at Iowa State. Saturday will be his first road test in the Big Ten.
Stanley ranks in the top 10 nationally with 12 touchdown passes.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) – Case Keenum is coming off the best game of his NFL career, preparing to start again this week for the Minnesota Vikings.
The possibility increased Wednesday when Sam Bradford was held out of practice for more rest for his sore left knee. Coach Mike Zimmer said they’re “doing everything” they can to get Bradford ready to play Sunday against Detroit.
But Wednesdays are important days for work on the game plan, and Bradford’s absence won’t help his cause to be cleared for action against the Lions.
Zimmer said Bradford will remain the starter as soon as he’s healthy again, but Keenum’s performance in the victory over Tampa Bay certainly gave the Vikings more confidence they can win without Bradford.
NORWALK — The Mason City High boys golf team finished fourth at the CIML tournament on Wednesday at the Legacy Golf Club in Norwalk. Marshalltown won the team title with a score of 304. Dowling was second a shot back, Johnston was third with a 310, while the Mohawks shot at 331. Nick Pittman of Johnston was the medalist with a 72. Brad Vaith and J. J. Wickman had the low Mohawk scores with a 76 and 77 respectively. Next up for Mason City is the district tournament on Tuesday in Ames.