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The streak is over! The streak is over!

The Minnesota Twins' 18-game postseason losing streak, dating back to 2004, was an unfathomable stretch of misery. Now that it's ended and that burden eliminated, maybe the Twins can surprise in a wide-open AL bracket.

The Twins defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 2-0 to sweep their wild-card series and advance to an ALDS matchup against the dominant Houston Astros.

Royce Lewis was Minnesota's best hitter but hadn't played since September 19 because of a hamstring injury. All he did was hit two home runs and drive in three runs against tough Kevin Gausman.

Gausman challenged him with a 3-2 four-seamer in the first inning rather than his best pitch, a splitter, and Lewis crushed it for a two-run home run -- just like he crushed four-seamers in the regular season.

Feels like a bad pitch selection there from Gausman. Give credit to a Minnesota pitching staff that has the ability to make a deep postseason run.

Pablo Lopez and Sonny Gray were both excellent in their starts and match up favorably with any team's top two starters.


Indeed, with Gray going in Game 2 against a Toronto lineup that just doesn't scare you (Cavan Biggio hitting fifth?), the Twins might actually win their first postseason series since the 2002 ALDS.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was inspired by it in his postgame speech, in the middle of a home clubhouse ready to explode in champagne and beer, when he went around the room and pointed to every contributor he could find.

Moment after moment after moment after moment -- came through, came through, came through, came through.


Nobody came through like Carlos Correa, the star shortstop who spent most of the year hampered by plantar fasciitis but has long brought his best for stages like these.

In Game 1, he retrieved a slow roller that trickled away and made an off-balance throw home to nail the speedy Bo Bichette, turning in a play that Baldelli believes "we will see forever."

In Game 2, he executed a pickoff of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at second base with Toronto threatening, once again swinging the momentum of the game with one play.

The Blue Jays, with a decorated lineup that underperformed throughout the year, rallied often but barely came through. Their 15 hits were the most by a team to score one run or fewer in its first two postseason games, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.

Jhoan Duran, after a delay to tend to a cut on his thumb following his warmup, struck out the side in the ninth to trigger a celebration around the mound.


Follow the Minnesota Twins through the playoffs on ESPN 102.3/AM 1000 KSOO with game 1 of the best-of-five AL Division Series in Houston on Saturday.

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