MINNEAPOLIS – The last two days have been the reason that the White Sox and their fans have a lot of optimism about their team as they start to mold into form ahead of October.
Eloy Jimenez is a cornerstone of this era of the team, with his acquisition from the Cubs in 2017 being a critical moment in the construction of the franchise. He’s not had much time to show off his abilities so far in 2021 after a torn pectoral tendon kept him ou the first half of the season.
But now that he’s healthy, Jimenez is now starting to produce the power the club expected of him in his third season, especially the last two days.
For a second-straight night, this time against the Twins at Target Field, the designated hitter had a pair of homers and five RBI in an 11-1 win over Minnesota on Monday. He did the same thing against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Sunday, aiding two of the four consecutive wins that the White Sox have in their current road trip.
Jimenez became the first member of the White Sox to hit two homers and have five RBI in consecutive contests while also have back-to-back multiple home run games for the first time in his career. In his first eight games, he’d had just one homer with four RBI as he began his return to the lineup.
This production is a delight not only to the White Sox but also Jimenez, who had to watch from afar as the team raced out to a strong start in the first three-and-a-half months.
“I was sad in Arizona that I couldn’t break with the team and now that I’m here, it’s feeling really good,” said Jimenez.
What makes it better is that Jimenez was finally joined by another starting outfield that missed a lot of the season with injury – centerfielder Luis Robert. Back for the first time since May 2nd after suffering a torn hip flexor tear, was 2-for-5 with an RBI double in the fifth inning in his return.
Having both players back and producing certainly helps Tony La Russa as his team closes in on the postseason as they now lead the American League Central by 10 1/2 games.
“We tried very hard for four months not to think of how we missed them. Getting both those guys back has been some kinda reminder of what they can do to help us,” said La Russa.