The Chicago White Sox, despite missing several key players, made a big statement this week against the Tampa Bay Rays, winning two out of three games and laying claim to the best record in baseball.
Thanks to Wednesday’s 8-7 victory over Tampa, the White Sox are now 43-25, giving them the best record in the major leagues after trailing the Rays for that distinction as they entered the three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field.
After Jose Abreu grounded out to second to start off the 10th inning, moving Andrew Vaughn to third, Yasmani Grandal laced a single to right field, scoring Vaughn and giving the White Sox their sixth victory in their last seven games.
According to the team, the Sox are now 18 games over .500 for the first time since the 2008 season, when the club won the American League Central crown and advanced to the postseason.
The victory also opened up a five-game lead for the White Sox in the American League Central, with the Cleveland Indians currently in the second spot. The White Sox are 12 and a half games clear of Kansas City, giving themselves a great opportunity to make their way into the postseason for the second consecutive year.
In addition to the league’s best record, the White Sox also have the league’s best run differential at plus-107, and have given up just 234 runs so far this season, the fewest runs that any American League team has surrendered. Only the New York Mets have given up fewer runs, with 206 allowed.
The White Sox are doing all of this despite losing several key players to injury. Both Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert remain out of action for the South Siders, and Nick Madrigal, who was batting .305 with 16 extra base hits and 21 RBI’s this season, is now out for the rest of the year after undergoing hamstring surgery earlier this week.
The first place White Sox will hit the road for a six-game trip starting Thursday night, facing the Houston Astros in the first game of a four-game set at Minute Maid Park. Dylan Cease will take the ball for the White Sox in the series opener, with first pitch set for 7:10 p.m.