MINNEAPOLIS — The Metrodome erupted as Carlos Gomez zoomed home with the winning run to finish off an AL Central race — and a thrilling tiebreaker — that didn't want to end.
Minnesota wouldn't quit, and the Tigers finished a historic fade.
Alexi Casilla singled in the winner from second with one out in the 12th as the Twins rallied for a 6-5 victory Tuesday night.
"This is the most unbelievable game I've ever played or seen," Twins shortstop Orlando Cabrera said.
The Twins celebrated then scrambled: They had 21 hours to get ready for today's Game 1 of the AL division series at Yankee Stadium.
The Tigers head home, the first team to blow a three-game lead with four games left.
"I guess it's fitting to say there was a loser in this game because we lost the game, but it's hard for me to believe there was a loser in this game," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Both teams played their hearts out."
The Twins overcame a seven-game gap in the final month and went 17-4 to pull even on the final weekend.
"We just feel like we have nothing to lose, man," outfielder and former Tampa Catholic star Denard Span said.
Both teams had chances to end it, and both scored in the 10th. Tigers leftfielder Ryan Raburn, the former Durant standout, threw out Casilla trying to tag up from third to end that inning.
The Tigers thought they'd taken the lead in the 12th. But with the bases loaded, umpire Randy Marsh ruled that Brandon Inge was not hit by Bobby Keppel's pitch. The replay appeared to show the pitch grazing Inge's uniform.
"We looked at replays, too, and the replays we've looked at, to be honest with you, were inconclusive," said Marsh, the crew chief.
Said Inge: "No matter what we did, it seems like it wasn't meant to be. This is the best game, by far, that I've ever played in no matter the outcome."
Postseason 2009 All games on TBS
AL division series
Yankees vs. Twins
Game 1: at New York; 6:07 p.m. today. Scheduled starters: Twins — Brian Duensing (5-2, 3.64); Yankees — CC Sabathia (19-8, 3.37)
Red Sox vs. Angels
Game 1: at Los Angeles; 9:37 p.m. Thursday. Scheduled starters: Red Sox — Jon Lester (15-8, 3.41); Angels — John Lackey (11-8, 3.83)
NL division series
Phillies vs. Rockies
Game 1: at Philadelphia, 2:37 p.m. today. Scheduled starters: Rockies — Ubaldo Jimenez (15-12, 3.47); Phillies — Cliff Lee (14-13, 3.22)
Dodgers vs. Cardinals
Game 1: at Los Angeles, 9:37 p.m. today. Scheduled starters: Cardinals — Chris Carpenter (17-4, 2.24); Dodgers — Randy Wolf (11-7, 3.23)