By Joe Christensen
KANSAS CITY, MO. — The Twins will enter their four-game series with the Tigers on Monday, trailing by two games in the American League Central.
The Tigers lost 8-4 to the White Sox in Chicago today, but the Twins fell 4-1 to Zack Greinke and the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Greinke (16-8) held the Twins to one run over seven innings, notching eight strikeouts and lowering his ERA to 2.06. Joakim Soria pitched two innings for his 29th save.
Twins starter Francisco Liriano (5-13) lasted just 1 2/3 innings. He gave up a three-run homer to Yuniesky Betancourt in the second inning, and that was enough for Greinke and Soria.
The Twins had chances all afternoon but wound up stranding 11 runners on base. Joe Mauer, who went 2-for-5 to keep his major league leading average at .371, grounded to shortstop to end the game after the Twins had put runners at the corners against Soria.
The Tigers’ magic number to clinch the Central is six. Here are the scenarios entering this week’s series in Detroit:
Tigers sweep: Twins eliminated
Twins sweep: Twins magic number would be 2, entering final weekend.
Tigers go 3-1: Twins eliminated
Twins go 3-1: All tied, entering final weekend
Split: Tigers magic number would be 2, entering final weekend