At long last, North America’s longest run of playoff futility is over.
For the first time in nearly two decades, the Twins won a postseason game on Tuesday, downing the Blue Jays 3–1 in Game 1 of the American League Wild Card series. The victory marked Minnesota’s first playoff win since Oct. 5, 2004, snapping an 18-game losing streak that had grown into the longest such postseason run in North American sports history.
Royce Lewis played the hero for the Twins on Tuesday, hitting two home runs in the first two playoff plate appearances of his career to drive in all three of the club’s runs. The former No. 1 pick became just the third player in MLB postseason history to homer in his first two playoff at-bats.
Along with a steady performance from starter Pablo López (5 2/3 innings pitched, one earned run on five hits and three strikeouts) and the bullpen, Minnesota never yielded the lead en route to breaking free of the postseason curse.
With the unfortunate streak now behind them, the Twins will turn their focus to Game 2 of the wild-card series on Wednesday, where they will have a chance to close out the Blue Jays and advance to the ALDS.