With a 7-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox won their first AL Central title in 2008 thanks to two Tim Anderson home runs.
Chicago, which was a wild-card team in last year’s playoffs, will be making its first consecutive postseason appearances. Tony La Russa will be turning 77 in October. The White Sox are currently in their first season as Hall of Fame manager. After guiding St. Louis to its 2011 World Series title, La Russa retired and was hired to replace Rick Renteria.
Chicago (86-66), moved into first place on May 7. Since 2005’s World Series, the White Sox have not advanced to the postseason and were last in playoff play 13 years ago.
Anderson scored his fifth home run in the leadoff and added three runs in the second to make it his sixth career multi-homer game. Aaron Civale (11-5), was ahead 7-0 with consecutive homers by Luis Roberts and Eloy Jimenez in the second.
Aaron Bummer (4-5), retired all three batters in fifth inning. Four White Sox relievers combined for a scoreless game of 3 2/3 innings. The game was cut to seven innings by pandemic rules.
Closer Liam Hendriks struck out Myles Strw to end the game. This set off a celebration in front the visiting dugout that saw players saluting the hundreds of White Sox fans at Progressive Field.
Cesar Hernandez, who started the season with Cleveland went 3 for 3. He reached 1,000 hits. Anderson had three hits while Robert drove in two runs and reached base three times.
Bobby Bradley and Austin Hedges both homered for Cleveland. Bobby was chasing Reynaldo Sanchez, who gave up two runs and four hits.
Civale allowed seven runs over 1 1/3 innings, including four homers.
Chicago is bolstered by offseason moves that included All-Star pitchers Lance Lynn, Hendriks, and has seen significant improvement. It now looks set for a strong run in October.
Jimenez broke his left pectoral tendon in spring training. He didn’t make it to the season debut until July 26, however. Robert, another promising outfielder was hurt in May. He was not back until August 9. Yasmani Grandal, catcher, injured his left knee in July.
Despite being tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, Indians RHP Emmanuel Clase was removed from the team for 2020. However, he has been one the best rookies in the AL this season. Clase has converted 24 save opportunities, including his 13 last 13, and has a 1.37 ERA over 67 appearances. Acting manager DeMarlo Hale stated that Clase has made a significant improvement in his performance this year. “The positive mindset he’s developed is very impressive.”
White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon will begin Sept. 28 against Cincinnati. He won’t feel any pain during the interim. La Russa stated, “We’ll just keep keeping our fingers crossed that it’s all good.” Rodon was forced to leave Detroit Monday after 69 pitches. He failed to reach the sixth inning for his seventh consecutive start.
Indians: OF Harold Ramirez (right side shoulder injury) was back in the lineup after he ran into the Yankee Stadium wall Sunday. In preparation for Friday’s activation, SS Amed Rosario (health & safety protocols) will train between games. Rosario has been on the COVID-19 or bereavement lists for the past 13 days.
RHP Shane Bieber (7-4), who hasn’t pitched for the Indians since June 13, due to a strain right shoulder, will start Friday night. The AL Cy Young Award winner will face Chicago RHP Dylan Cease (12-7).