MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Mike Moustakas homered twice, Freddy Galvis hit a solo shot and the Cincinnati Reds clinched their first playoff spot since 2013, beating the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins 7-2 Friday night.
The Reds (30-28), who can finish as high as the fifth seed in the eight-team NL field, leaned hard on their bullpen and raised their record to two games above .500 for the first time since May 13, 2017.
After Wade Miley wrapped up a scoreless ninth, Cincinnati players roared from the dugout and ran out for team-wide hugs on the mound.
Joey Votto and the Reds had endured six straight losing seasons before advancing this year under manager David Bell.
The Twins failed to secure home-field advantage for the wild-card series, when Cleveland rallied to beat Pittsburgh and forge a second-place tie with Chicago in the division race. Minnesota leads the White Sox and Indians by one game, with two to play.
The Twins are 23-6 at Target Field, the best home record in baseball, and can still settle anywhere from the second seed to the seventh seed for the AL playoffs next week.
The Twins would lose a tiebreaker to the White Sox, based on an inferior intradivision record, but they would win both a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Indians and a three-way tiebreaker with the other two competitors.
Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen (2-2) had four strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings, stranding runners on second and third in the third. Raisel Iglesias did the same in the eighth, and the Twins left 11 men on base.
After Philadelphia lost to Tampa Bay and Milwaukee split a doubleheader with St. Louis, the Reds did their part by holding on for their 10th win in the last 12 games.
The Reds last participated in the postseason in 2013, with a one-and-done loss in the NL wild-card game. That was the last year they finished with a winning record, too, after going 90-72 in Dusty Baker’s final season as manager.
Power hitting has been their ticket to this tournament, after giving both Nick Castellanos and Moustakas a four-year, $64 million contract, a franchise record. Eugenio Suárez leads the team with 15 homers.
Until the RBI single by Castellanos in the fifth, the Reds had a streak of 19 straight runs scored via the long ball. That included their entire series against the Brewers: 14 runs on seven homers.
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Source: CBS Minnesota