They wanted to clinch the AL Central by winning and celebrating the old-fashioned way, with a mob scene on the field. Instead, they needed some help to win their first division title since 1993.
The White Sox, who became the first team other than Cleveland to win the AL Central, clinched while the game was being played.
Kansas City's 9-0 victory over Cleveland, which eliminated the Indians from division contention, flashed across the scoreboard with two outs in the top of the 10th. That brought a sizable contingent of sign-toting Chicago fans among a small Metrodome crowd to its feet.
Yards away, the Twins were mobbing Lawton at the plate.
Spot starter Sean Lowe limited the Twins to one hit in six innings and left with a 5-0 lead. But the Twins pounded three rookie relievers to tie the game, scoring four in the seventh and another in the eighth.
Charles Johnson drove in three runs as the White Sox finally solved long-time nemesis Joe Mays and appeared on the way to an easy win.
But rookie relievers Mark Buehrle and Lorenzo Barcelo were roughed up in the bottom of the seventh. Corey Koskie hit an RBI single off Buehrle and Barcelo gave up a three-run homer to A.J. Pierzynski that made it 5-4.
Eddie Guardado (6-3) got the victory with two innings of one-hit relief.
Joe Mays entered with a career record of just 13-25 but was 4-0 against the White Sox, including three victories at the Metrodome, where he had allowed them just three earned runs in 24 1-3 innings.
And he kept them off balance and scoreless again until the fifth.
The White Sox hustled and drove out Mays with four runs in the seventh.
Carlos Lee singled and raced to third on a single by Paul Konerko. When center fielder John Barnes was slow relaying the ball to second, Lee sprinted home. On the throw to the plate, Konerko took second.
Chris Singleton followed with an RBI single and then Johnson, a member of the Marlins' World Series winners in 1997 when Chicago manager Jerry Manuel was a bench coach with Florida, hit a two-run double that finished Mays.
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