Twins beat Tigers 8-3 and avoid elimination

DETROIT, MI – Scott Baker had a strong start and got plenty of run support with a three-run third inning and a four-run eighth, helping the Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 8-3 Thursday to avoid elimination from playoff contention.

The AL Central-leading Tigers had a chance to clinch their first division title since 1987 in the finale of the four-game series, but their bats were quieted and their pitchers got roughed up.

The tightest race in baseball won't be decided until this weekend - or early next week if a tiebreaker is necessary.

If Detroit beats the Chicago White Sox twice at home, it will win the division. If not, the Tigers will need some help from the Kansas City Royals, who end the season at Minnesota.