"We're playing a team in the pennant race here," Gardenhire said. "They're one game up. So there's going to be a lot of intensity coming from their dugout. Hopefully we can join in with it. There's a lot to play for because all of baseball is watching this series. I'm hoping our guys are going to want to get after it and play the game the right way and give these guys a run for their money and make them earn it."
Gardenhire, who is in the last year of his contract, remains just two wins shy of 1,000 for his career. But he's maintained that he's kept the thought of reaching the milestone out of his head.
The Twins have also had success against the Indians in recent years, as they are 18-12 against Cleveland over their past 30 meetings dating back to 2012.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.