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Twins win 3rd AL Central title in 5 years, will host wild-card series

Adam Bettcher / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Minnesota Twins sit atop the AL Central once again.

Minnesota claimed its first division title in three years and third in five years by beating the Los Angeles Angels 8-6 on Friday.

Year AL Central winner 🏆 
2023 Twins
2022 Guardians
2021 White Sox
2020 Twins
2019 Twins

The Twins, who finished with a losing record in each of the last two seasons, also secured the top wild-card seed and will host a best-of-three series at Target Field beginning Oct. 3. Their opponent will likely be one of the Toronto Blue Jays, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, or Texas Rangers. Despite having a worse record than each of those teams, the Twins own home-field advantage by virtue of winning their division.

Minnesota last reached the postseason in 2020 when the team was swept in two games by the Houston Astros in the wild-card series. The franchise has been swept in each of its last six playoff series, hasn't won a playoff game since 2004, and owns the longest active playoff losing streak at 18 games.

Outfielder Alex Kirilloff had a homer and three RBIs in the victory. Jorge Polanco and Kyle Farmer had two hits apiece.

Meanwhile, right-hander Pablo López picked up the win after surrendering three earned runs with seven strikeouts and one walk over six innings.

"The 2023 Twins were built differently," López said when asked about this year's team compared to others in the past, according to Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "We're a different breed. We're going to go out there and show everyone what we can do when we're on the field. We can take on anyone."

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