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MLB playoffs: Tigers clinch postseason spot, but not division (yet)

Typing that headline seldom seemed so unfulfilling.

Hannah Foslien

The Tigers have punched their ticket to the MLB playoffs with a victory over the Twins. Only a Jason Giambi walk-off home run in Cleveland an hour-plus earlier in the night kept them from claiming the division title outright. Detroit can do no worse than a Wild Card spot,  which means they've clinched a third consecutive trip to the American League postseason. So that's something, anyway.

The Tigers put up all four of their runs in relatively quick succession in the fourth inning. Victor Martinez and Omar Infante hit back-to-back solo home runs to left field, then a few batters later Austin Jackson homered as well, this a two-run shot. So, congrats on your free curly fries, those who live in Arby's participating areas. The rest of us -- and the Tigers -- have to wait a day for the real celebration.

The real drama occurred in Ohio. With a one-run lead in the top of the ninth, Indians closer Chris Perez allowed a pair of home runs -- to Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro de Aza, to send his team to a 4-3 deficit. However, Sox closer Addison Reed blew his eighth save of the year, allowing Cleveland to come away with the win. Michael Brantley, who'd already homered earlier, singled to get on base. With two outs in the ninth, Giambi hit a 409 footer to right for the victory.

The Tigers magic number for the division is one. Clinching a playoff spot is nice, but expected.  We write this story because we have to, not because we want to.

The real celebration is yet to come.

(But OK, it is kind of nice to be back in the playoffs FOR SURE, right?)

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