The Chicago White Sox are playoff bound after they defeated the Minnesota Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field on Thursday afternoon.
The victory ensures that the White Sox are the first American League squad to clinch a playoff berth, and marks the first time in 12 years that the Pale Hose are heading to the postseason.
Currently the White Sox own a three-game lead over the Twins for first place in the American League Central Division, meaning that they would earn a top-three seed in the postseason if they can hold on for the divisional crown. The White Sox have the American League’s best record after their victory, edging out the Tampa Bay Rays in that category.
Jose Abreu clobbered his 17th home run of the season in the game, and also drove in the game-tying run in the seventh inning with an infield single. Eloy Jimenez drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh with an RBI double down the left field line.
Reynaldo Lopez gave up three earned runs in 5.1 innings of work, scattering four hits and striking out six batters.
Tyler Clippard was saddled with the loss for the Twins, who now trail the White Sox by three games as they prepare for a weekend series against the Cubs on the North Side.
The Twins got on the board in the second inning as Byron Buxton homered to left field off of Lopez, putting the Twins ahead 1-0. That score remained the same until the fourth, when Abreu hit a home run of his own over the fence in center field to knot things up at 1-1.
Buxton homered again in the fifth, but once again the White Sox were able to answer, as Encarnacion launched a solo shot to left field, tying the game at 2-2.
In the sixth, Josh Donaldson hit a home run into the bullpen in left to give his team the lead, but he was ejected from the game after kicking dirt onto home plate following his home run trot around the bases.
Losing Donaldson’s bat in the lineup hurt the Twins, as the White Sox were able to take the lead in the seventh inning. After Abreu squibbed a single to the left side of the infield, Jimenez looped a double into left field, scoring Yolmer Sanchez and giving the White Sox a 4-3 edge.
From there the White Sox bullpen slammed the door, as Codi Heuer and Alex Colome combined to slam the door and give the South Siders a berth in the playoffs.
The White Sox will now hit the road for their final trip of the regular season, starting up a three-game series against the red-hot Cincinnati Reds on Friday night at the Great American Ballpark. First pitch is set for 6:10 p.m., and the game will air on NBC Sports Chicago.