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Postseason woes leave Twins feeling low

Postseason woes leave Twins feeling low

NEW YORK -- The Twins will go into another offseason wondering how to beat the Yankees and how to advance out of the opening round of Major League Baseball's postseason. It's not just the frustration piling up. It's the records.

Not since Johan Santana pitched a victory at the old Yankee Stadium to open the 2004 American League Division Series have the Twins won a postseason game. Saturday's 6-1 loss was their 12th straight postseason defeat, the second-longest streak in Major League history. Last year's AL Central tiebreaker win over the Tigers counts as a regular-season contest, since it was needed to determine a division winner and a postseason berth.

If Minnesota loses its next postseason game, it'll match the 13-game losing streak of the Red Sox, which ran from the 1986 World Series to '95 ALDS.

Boston lost to a variety of opponents in its postseason skid, starting with the World Series champion Mets and continuing with the Blue Jays and A's. Other than a 2006 ALDS sweep by Oakland, all of Minnesota's postseason frustration has worn Yankees pinstripes, nine straight losses of it -- including three-game sweeps in each of the past two years.

The nine-game skid against the Yankees is tied for the third-longest losing streak by one team against an opponent in Major League history. Again, the Red Sox are involved in the top honors, but this time on the victorious end, beating the Angels in 11 consecutive meetings from the 1986 ALCS into the 2008 ALDS.

The A's defeated the Red Sox in 10 straight postseason matchups from the 1988 ALCS until the 2003 AL Division Series. The Yankees' nine-game winning streak over the Rangers in the postseason is current, having started in the '96 Division Series.

The Twins' nine-game skid vs. the Yanks in the playoffs is the longest active stretch.
Team Skid Foe Dates
Angels 11 Red Sox 10/12/86-10/3/08
Red Sox 10 Athletics 10/5/88-10/2/03
Twins 9 Yankees 10/6/04-current
Rangers 9 Yankees 10/2/96-current

The numbers are daunting. Still, Twins outfielder Delmon Young bristled when asked if the losing streak to the Yankees gnaws at him.

"Doesn't gnaw at me," he said. "It could've been any team we're playing against, to play the way we did these last three games. If we don't score enough runs, we're not going to win any games."

The overall postseason losing streak suggests he's right.

The Twins took care of one record-threatening losing streak Saturday. Because Minnesota never led, its streak of postseason comeback losses to the Yankees is over at eight.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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