• Tiebreaker information
"He was just totally on from the start," manager Ned Yost said. "He had great command with all his pitches."
Ventura even flirted with a no-hitter -- the Twins didn't get a hit until there were two out in the fifth as Torii Hunter singled sharply to right.
Ventura was on a 100-pitch limit, and a potential no-hit bid would have created some issues for Yost.
"I don't know what I would have done," Yost said.
Ventura wound up throwing 97 pitches.
"He is right where we need him to be," Yost said.
While Yost hasn't indicated who his Game 1 starter for the AL Division Series on Thursday will be, all signs point to Ventura, who would be pitching on four days' rest then.
Ventura is ready for whenever he starts.
"With everything that has gone on, I've felt better and better with each start," he said through interpreter Pedro Grifol. "I've felt that definitely this journey to the playoffs has given me more energy. I can feel now that my next start is going to be in the playoffs."
And while Ventura had dominating stuff on Saturday, he wasn't thinking about no-hitters.
"I'm wasn't thinking or worrying about that," he said. "I just wanted to go deep in games and hand the ball off to the bullpen when it's time, and get a win."
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.