Twins Beat Tigers in Game 163Casilla's hit in 12th lifts Twins over Tigers
By: Dave Campbell, AP
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Alexi Casilla singled home the winning run with one out in the 12th inning and the Minnesota Twins rallied past Detroit 6-5 in the AL Central tiebreaker Tuesday night, completing a colossal collapse for the Tigers.
The Tigers became the first team in major league history to blow a three-game lead with four games left. The Twins overcame a seven-game gap in the final month, went 17-4 to pull even on the final weekend and emerged with their fifth division title in eight years.
Baseball's only real pennant race this season needed an extra game, and extra innings to finish off a thriller that got better with every pitch.
Both team had their chances to end it earlier, and each club scored in the 10th. Casilla was thrown out at the plate to end that inning by left fielder Ryan Raburn after tagging up.
Detroit thought it had taken the lead in the 11th. But with the bases loaded, plate umpire Randy Marsh ruled that Brandon Inge was not hit by a pitch by Bobby Keppel. The replay appeared to show the pitch grazing Inge's billowing uniform.
As Carlos Gomez streaked home from second with the winning run — well ahead of a late throw from right field — Homer Hankies spiraled around the Metrodome. The Twins celebrated and also started to scramble — they had 21 hours to get ready for Game 1 of the AL playoffs at Yankee Stadium against New York ace CC Sabathia.
"This is the most unbelievable game I've ever played or seen," Twins shortstop Orlando Cabrera said.
It was the first AL tiebreaker to go to extra innings, and made up for Minnesota's disappointment last October when it lost 1-0 in Chicago to the White Sox in an AL Central tiebreaker.
Had the Twins lost, it would've been the final baseball game at the Metrodome. Instead, the Twins get the Yankees — New York was 7-0 against Minnesota this season.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.