Clint Hurdle hit a decisive two-run homer and Larry Gura pitched a four-hitter in Bloomington, Minn., as Kansas City clinched a playoff spot and eliminated the Twins from the race.
The Royals will meet the Oakland A's, winners of the season's first-half championship, in the AL West miniplayoff series. The Royals lead the second-half season, with only the A's not eliminated. However, if the A's win the second-half title as well as the first, the Royals gain the miniseries by finishing second in the second half.
A vocal, enthusiastic crowd of 15,900 sat through rainy, cool weather to watch the final baseball game to be played at Metropolitan Stadium. The Twins are scheduled to move into a new domed facility in downtown Minneapolis next year.
Gura (11-7) gave up a two-run homer to Pete Mackanin in the second inning but after that allowed only an infield single by Ron Washington in the third and a leadoff single by Gary Ward in the ninth.
Hurdle hit his fourth homer of the year in the fourth inning, off Fernando Arroyo (7-10), snapping a 2-2 tie.
"No champagne yet," said George Brett, whose club was 20-30 and 12 games behind Oakland when the players' strike started in June. "The champagne's still on ice. After we get to the championship game, maybe some then. Then some more for the World Series."