CLEVELAND — 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 post-season 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.