Twins win first playoff game since 2004

view of a stadium
Prior to the commencement of an American League Wild Card baseball playoff series between the Twins and the Blue Jays on Tuesday in Minneapolis, a pregame flyover features a C-130 Hercules from the 133rd Airlift Wing of the Minnesota National Guard, based in Minneapolis.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

The Twins Tuesday won their first postseason game since 2004. The 3-1 game against the Toronto Blue Jays is part of a three-game American League Wild Card series.

The Twins have made the postseason several times in the last 20 years, but they've lost 18 straight playoff games. Tuesday’s win breaks that streak.

Royce Lewis hit two home runs, becoming the second Twins player in history with a multihomer postseason game. Gary Gaetti in Game 1 of the 1987 ALCS was the first. Lewis is also the second rookie in Twins history to hit a postseason home run, following Scott Leius in Game 2 of the 1991 World Series, when he connected for a two-run shot in the first inning against Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Kevin Gausman on Tuesday.

Weather for the game at Target Field was unseasonably warm. Temperatures hit the low 80s, under sunny skies. Fans took advantage of that, coming downtown early.

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a group of people watch a baseball game
Twins player Alex Kirilloff leans to catch the ball as fans eagerly watch during the start of an American League Wild Card baseball playoff series between the Twins and the Blue Jays on Tuesday in Minneapolis.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

“I'm very impressed with the rookies that they brought up. That's what I kind of like. They got pitching. They got hitting. Fielding. I think they're gonna be okay,” said Gary Kish of Anoka, a fan since the organization moved to Minnesota.

Kish said what will matter is if they can put that all together for the post season.

Manuel Garcia of Fridley came with his wife and young son to watch the game. Garcia moved to Minnesota 30 years ago, and has been a Twins fan ever since, and was feeling “positive.”

“We are huge Twins fans, me and her watching the TV. We love it. We love this team.”

There were also plenty of Toronto Blue Jays fans, who are known to travel for their team.

2023 Regular Season

The Twins' arguably two biggest stars — Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa — were both not 100 percent healthy during the season. But a crew of young players has stepped up in their place. At the same time, the Twins’ pitching staff has been very strong.

Pablo Lopez and Sonny Gray have been great one and two starters for the rotation. The Twins have also had a strong bullpen and closer.

a man makes first pitch
Twins player Pablo López makes the first pitch during the start of an American League Wild Card baseball playoff series between the Twins and the Blue Jays on Tuesday in Minneapolis.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

They're a team that hits a lot of home runs; they're tied for the American League lead in that category. But they also strike out a lot. They set a record this year for the number of strikeouts in a season.

Buxton, who the Twins had high hopes for this season, won't play this series because of both hamstring and knee problems. He could make the roster for later rounds.

a group of fans cheer at a game
An American League Wild Card baseball playoff series between Twins and Blue Jays on Tuesday in Minneapolis.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News