MINNEAPOLIS: The playoff scenario for the Cleveland Indians is simple: win Sunday and they are in.
The Indians moved into sole possession of the AL wild-card lead on the next-to-last scheduled day of the regular season, beating the Minnesota Twins 5-1 yesterday behind Scott Kazmir ‘s strong start to extend their winning streak to nine.
Seeking their first postseason appearance since 2007, the Indians (91-70) took a one-game lead over Tampa Bay and Texas (both 90-71).
“We want to keep this roll going. This is so much fun,” Nick Swisher said.
Cleveland is assured of at least a tie for the AL wild card. With three teams seeking the two wild cards, Sunday’s results could decide the matter or lead to one or two tiebreaker games at the start of next week.
Carlos Santana homered for the Indians, who have won 14 of their last 16.
If the three teams are tied after Sunday, Cleveland would host Tampa Bay today afternoon, with the winner advancing to the postseason. The loser would play at Texas tomorrow afternoon for the second wild card.
In the event Sunday ends with a tie for the second wild-card berth, Texas would be home against Tampa Bay in a one-game tiebreaker tonight. The two wild cards would then meet in a postseason game Wednesday night to determine which advances to the division series. AGENCIES