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 when the Los Angeles Angels lost 6-4 in 10 innings at Chicago.
The Twins couldn't secure their first spot in the postseason 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 (see full recap).
Cubs clinch 2nd straight NL central title
ST. LOUIS, Missouri -- Addison Russell hit a three-run homer and John Lackey pitched six strong innings as the Chicago Cubs clinched their second consecutive National League Central title with a 5-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.
The Cubs reached the postseason for the third straight year for the first time since 1908. They are also the first defending World Series champion to win their division the next season since the 2009 Philadelphia Phillies and the first defending champion to reach the playoffs the next season since the Cardinals won the wild card in 2012.
The Cubs became the second visiting team to celebrate a title at Busch Stadium III. The 2009 Los Angeles Dodgers won the NLDS at St. Louis.
Lackey (12-11) retired the final 10 batters he faced. The former Cardinal struck out three and gave up two hits and two walks.
Six Cubs relievers combined for three scoreless innings of relief (see full recap).
Red Sox cut magic number to 2 with victory
BOSTON -- Reigning AL Cy Young winner Rick Porcello struggled in his final playoff tuneup, and David Price relieved him to solidify his role on the postseason roster as the Boston Red Sox beat Toronto 10-7 on Wednesday night to lower their magic number to two.
Hanley Ramirez and Xander Bogaerts homered in a five-run third inning for Boston after Porcello (11-17) gave up three runs in the first. The Red Sox scored one in the first and three in the second and then took a 9-4 lead in the third to chase Marco Estrada (10-9) and snap a two-game losing streak.
Boston, which is already guaranteed a playoff berth, maintained a three-game lead over the second-place Yankees in the division. They need two more wins or two more New York losses to clinch the first back-to-back AL East titles in franchise history (see full recap).
Diamondbacks rally for walk-off win over Giants
PHOENIX -- David Peralta capped a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning by drawing a one-out, bases-loaded walk, giving the Arizona Diamondbacks a 4-3 win over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday.
J.D. Martinez led off the inning with a solo homer, tying Ralph Kiner's 1949 NL record for home runs in September with 16. Martinez has 45 homers this season, 29 of them with the Diamondbacks, who acquired him in a trade with the Tigers on July 18.
His 36 RBIs this month set an Arizona record, surpassing Luis Gonzalez' 35 in June 2001.
Daniel Descalso jogged home with the winning run in the Diamondbacks' regular-season home finale. Arizona will be back in action at Chase Field next Wednesday in the NL wild card game.
All of the runs were charged to Giants closer Sam Dyson (3-3). J.J. Hoover (3-1) earned the win in relief.
Pablo Sandoval doubled twice and drove in two runs, and Jeff Samardzija threw three-hit ball for six innings for the Giants (see full recap).