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MLB: Twins fall in finale, prep for Yankees

MINNEAPOLIS - Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind added two more home runs to Toronto's major league-leading total, lifting the Toronto Blue Jays to a 2-1 victory over the playoff-bound Minnesota Twins in their regular-season finale Sunday.

MINNEAPOLIS - Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind added two more home runs to Toronto's major league-leading total, lifting the Toronto Blue Jays to a 2-1 victory over the playoff-bound Minnesota Twins in their regular-season finale Sunday.

The Twins open Game 1 of the ALDS at home against American League Wild Card winner New York on Wednesday. The Yankees lost their season finale 8-4 to the Boston Red Sox on Sunday allowing the Tampa Bay Rays to claim the American League East crown.

The Blue Jays went deep 257 times this season, matching the 1996 Baltimore Orioles for the third-most in history. The 1997 Seattle Mariners have the record, with 264 homers.

This was the last game for Toronto manager Cito Gaston, who accepted a $2,500 check from the Twins on his behalf to the Blue Jays' charity fund. Two of his former players who are also former Twins, Paul Molitor and Jack Morris, joined Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and Minnesota second baseman Orlando Hudson, himself a former Blue Jays player, at home plate to honor Gaston.

Gaston finished 211-201 in his second stint with the Blue Jays - no World Series titles, but a competitive stint in arguably baseball's toughest division. The Blue Jays finished with eight wins in their last 10 games to reach 85-77.

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Jose Bautista, baseball's individual leader with 54 homers, went 0 for 4 for the Blue Jays. But Encarnacion drove a 2-1 pitch from Nick Blackburn an estimated 431 feet into the bullpen in left-center to tie the game in the fifth inning. Then Lind lifted one in the seventh inning high enough to elude the glove of leaping left fielder Ben Revere to give Toronto the lead.

Encarnacion finished with 21 homers this season, seven against the Twins and five in this four-game series. The Blue Jays went deep 10 times this weekend at Target Field, so far one of the hardest ballparks to hit one out of.

Blackburn (10-12), expected to be the starter if Minnesota's first-round series lasts four games, gave the Twins seven innings and six strikeouts. He allowed only three hits and one walk, rebounding from a rough start last week.

Blue Jays starter Marc Rzepczynski (4-4) was a little bit better, allowing only one unearned run in seven innings while striking out six. Hudson created Minnesota's only run all by himself, starting by beating out an infield single in the fourth. Rzepczynski had him picked off, but first baseman Lyle Overbay's throw hit Hudson in the back for an error and Hudson hustled into third with a headfirst slide. Trevor Plouffe drove him in with a single.

The Twins trotted out THE lineup, as Gardenhire put it before the game, his batting order for the playoffs. Most of the regulars were gone by the middle innings, including as a precaution right fielder Jason Kubel, who fouled a ball off his foot.

The Twins finished 2-8 in their last 10 games, not the way they wanted to enter the postseason, but at least healthier than when they clinched the AL Central on Sept. 21. Only first baseman Justin Morneau is missing, his post-concussion recovery still not far enough along to include him.

The Twins announced another sellout, 79 out of 81 dates, and finished with 3,223,640 fans for their first season at Target Field.

NOTES: Gardenhire said backup catcher Jose Morales won't be on the playoff roster, preferring speed and defense off the bench rather than a pinch-hitter. ... The Twins unveiled a statue of late owner Carl Pohlad and his wife Eloise on the plaza outside the ballpark before the game. Former Twins and Blue Jays 3B Corey Koskie performed the ceremonial flag raising.

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