Tigers clip Twins, clinch third straight AL Central crown
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Austin Jackson doubled, tripled and scored the only run of the game as the Detroit Tigers clinched the AL Central for the third straight season with a 1-0 win over the Minnesota Twins in the finale of a three-game set from Target Field.
Jackson led off the game with a triple to right-center and scored when Torii Hunter slapped a single to center.
Detroit mustered six more hits after that but failed to put across any insurance runs for Max Scherzer (21-3), who was reached for just two hits over seven strong frames to cap his Cy Young-worthy regular season. Scherzer walked six but struck out 10 on a season-high 123 pitches.
"For us to be able to do it three straight years now is really special and a testament to the talent in our clubhouse," Scherzer said.
Jose Veras and Drew Smyly combined to get out of the eighth unscathed before Joaquin Benoit locked the door in the ninth for his 24th save of the season and second in this series.
Jim Leyland earned his 700th win as manager of the Tigers, putting him in elite company. Leyland became the third manager in Detroit history to reach at least 700 victories, joining Hall-of-Famers Sparky Anderson (1,331) and Hugh Jennings (1,131).
Kevin Correia (9-13) kept Detroit hitters guessing, allowing just the one run on seven hits over seven innings in defeat. The right-hander was aided by terrific defense behind him, which included two double-plays, both started by shortstop Pedro Florimon.
"Kevin had a heck of a year for us. He gave us a chance all year, and stood up there and went toe-to-toe with those guys today. I tip my cap to him," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.
Minnesota had just three hits overall, none of which left the infield.
The Tigers have a day off before heading to Miami to conclude the regular season with three games against the Marlins.
Scherzer became the sixth pitcher since 1990 with at least 20 wins and three or fewer losses in a season. He has also gone over 100 pitches in 27 of 32 starts this year ... Detroit has won 20 of its last 28 at Target Field ... The Tigers finished 11-8 against Minnesota in 2013 ... Brian Dozier and Florimon each stole a base for the Twins.
09/26 01:53:15 ET