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Twins Pull Starters Early, Drop Season Finale 2-1

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Bring on the Yankees!

That's a wrap on the regular season, ladies and gentlemen. Nick Blackburn pitched seven strong innings, allowing solo homers to Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind en route to a loss he didn't deserve but will get slapped with anyway. Minnesota's run came when Orlando Hudson tried to steal second, watched the ball bounce into shallow center field and advanced to third, and finally scored on a two-out single by Trevor Plouffe.

For those that missed the show:

Jim Thome was lifted for pinch-runner Trevor Plouffe, after his leadoff single in the second inning. Jason Kubel was taken out after the second, with Jason Repko sliding in, due to fouling a ball off his foot earlier. In the top of the fifth, Nick Punto, Drew Butera and Ben Revere replaced Hudson, Joe Mauer (who picked up his 43rd double earlier) and Delmon Young respectively. Matt Tolbert replaced Michael Cuddyer in the top of the sixth and Alexi Casilla took over for J.J. Hardy in the top of the ninth, leaving just Denard Span as the only everyday player to last all nine innings.

With New York losing to Boston 8-4 in the top of the ninth, there isn't much to be done at this point except wait for Wednesday to get here. In the meantime, hope that the Padres can beat the Giants to force a game 163 that won't involve the Twins.

Not a bad season for our Twins. A weak finish, but 94 wins is nothing to sneeze at. It's been a very good season. Now we get to see if this is a year we'll remember as one of the franchise's best.