For the first time in 13 years, the Chicago White Sox are American League Central Division champions, knocking off the Cleveland Indians Thursday in the first game of a doubleheader at Progressive Field.
The win gives the White Sox their first division crown since 2008, and marks the first time in team history that they have qualified for the playoffs in consecutive seasons.
The White Sox also qualified for the postseason in 2020, losing in three games to the Oakland Athletics in the Wild Card Series.
Tim Anderson helped the White Sox get off to a rollicking start in the game, smacking a home run to right-center field in the first inning to put the South Siders on the board with a 1-0 lead.
In the second inning, the White Sox put up six runs, including three home runs. Luis Robert hit a home run to left field to make it a 2-0 game, then Eloy Jiménez hit a solo shot to left to increase the lead to three.
Anderson then stepped up and hit another opposite-field home run to right, scoring César Hernandez and Leury García to give the South Siders a 6-0 lead. Robert then capped off the barrage with an RBI single, giving Chicago a 7-0 lead.
From there, Reynaldo López and the White Sox bullpen took care of the rest, holding the Indians at bay and clinching the team’s division title in the process.
The White Sox will have four more games in Cleveland, including one on Thursday. They’ll then head to Detroit for a make-up game on Monday, then head home for a five-game homestand against the Cincinnati Reds and the Tigers to finish up the season.
The next order of business for Chicago will be to try to secure home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs, and to do that they will have to outduel the Houston Astros down the stretch. With the win, the White Sox are five games back of the Astros with just nine games to play in the regular season.