White Sox clinch American League Central division title with 7-2 win over Indians

White Sox

CLEVELAND, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 23: Jose Abreu #79 of the Chicago White Sox celebrates after the Chicago White Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians in game one of a double header at Progressive Field on September 23, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. The White Sox defeated the Indians 7-2 to clinch a play-off spot. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND – The Chicago White Sox are headed back to the playoffs by beating the Cleveland Indians 7-2 on Thursday.

There was a chance to take care of this a few days before, and maybe that was on the White Sox minds when they came out on the field on Thursday afternoon in Cleveland.

It was obvious the White Sox were intent on clinching the American League Central Division as fast as they possibly could as they started a series against the Indians.

In the first of a five-game series at Progressive Field, the White Sox jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first two innings a cruised to a victory over Cleveland to clinch the AL Central title.

Tim Anderson led off the game with a home run to put the White Sox up 1-0 then they broke it open in the second with a six-run frame. Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez hit solo homers before Anderson smacked a three-run homer to make it 6-0.

In his second at-bat of the inning, Robert singled to bring home the seventh and final run, which was plenty for starter Reynaldo Lopez and the bullpen to bring home the victory.

This marks the first time the club has won the division since the 2008 season, ending a 13-year drought for the franchise when it comes to that achievement. With this title in 2021, the White Sox now have six division titles in franchise history, also winning 1983 (AL West), 1993 (AL West), 2000 (AL Central), and 2005 (AL Central).

It’s also the second division title won by the White Sox under manager Tony La Russa, who led the 1983 club to the AL West title with a 99-63 record.

CLEVELAND, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 23: Closing pitcher Liam Hendriks #31 of the Chicago White Sox celebrates after the Chicago White Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians in game one of a double header at Progressive Field on September 23, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. The White Sox defeated the Indians 7-2 to clinch a play-off spot. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

It’s the 11th playoff appearance in franchise history but this is the first time the White Sox have made the postseason in back-to-back seasons. In 2020, the team earned a Wild Card berth but fell just short of winning the division, and lost to the Athletics in the Wild Card Series.

The team’s 86th victory got the job done in a division that they have led ever since May 7th and have led by double-digits every day since August 7th. At the moment the White Sox are currently in third place in the American League and most likely will remain there since they currently trail second place Houston by five games and the league-leading Rays by 7 1/2.

CLEVELAND, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 23: Yoan Moncada #10 celebrates with Leury Garcia #28 of the Chicago White Sox after the Chicago White Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians during game one of a double header at Progressive Field on September 23, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. The White Sox defeated the Indians 7-2 to clinch a play-off spot. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

If this holds, the White Sox would face the Astros in the best-of-five American League Division Series starting on Thursday, October 7th. In 2021, the White Sox have a 2-5 record against Houston, having been swept in a four-game series from June 17-20 then taking 2-of-3 from the Astros at Guaranteed Rate Field from July 16-18.

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