MINNEAPOLIS — The Indians' playoff scenario is simple: win and they're in.
Cleveland moved into sole possession of the AL wild-card lead on the next-to-last scheduled day of the regular season, beating the Twins 5-1 Saturday behind former Ray Scott Kazmir's strong start to win their ninth in a row.
Seeking their first postseason appearance since 2007, the Indians took a one-game lead over the Rays and Rangers.
"We want to keep this roll going. This is so much fun," Nick Swisher said.
Cleveland is assured of at least a tie for the AL wild card. Carlos Santana homered for the Indians, who have won 14 of 16.
"Every time you win, it makes the next day that much more important, so we get to show up (today) and see if we can win a game," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "We need to be one run better (today) and then we go from there."
After a rain delay of 2 hours, 26 minutes, Kazmir won his second straight start after going 1-5 with a 5.82 ERA in his previous seven.
"I was able to attack the strike zone and expand," said Kazmir, who has 43 strikeouts in 28 September innings. "I'm going out there and getting them in swing mode, and once I get two strikes, I have quite a few pitches I'm able to set them down with."