White Sox clinch AL Central title for 1st time since 2008

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox clinched their first AL Central title since 2008 with a 7-2 win over the Cleveland Indians in a doubleheader opener Thursday behind two home runs by Tim Anderson.

Chicago, in its first season under 76-year-old Hall of Famer manager Tony La Russa, is going to the postseason in consecutive years for the first time.

Anderson hit his fifth leadoff home run of the season and added a three-run drive in the second for his sixth career multi-homer game. Luis Robert and Eloy Jiménez hit consecutive homers in the second for a 7-0 lead off Aaron Civale (11-5).

Aaron Bummer (4-5) retired all three batters in the fifth.

Cleveland won the second game 5-3 when Oscar Mercado hit a two-run homer in the seventh off José Ruiz (1-3), making a winner of Emmanuel Clase (4-5).


DENVER (AP) — Max Muncy homered off Lucas Gilbreath (2-2) to start the 10th, and Los Angeles closed within one game of NL West leader San Francisco.

Kenley Jansen (4-4) pitched the ninth and Blake Treinen got his sixth save when C.J. Cron hit into a game-ending double play.


SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jurickson Profar raced home on Victor Caratini’s infield single off Dominic Leone (3-5) with one out in the 10th, denying San Francisco its 100th win. San Diego stopped a five-game losing streak. and remained six games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild card.

Ross Detwiler (3-1) pitched the 10th for the win.


MILWAUKEE (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt homered twice, and St. Louis overcame a 5-0 deficit to extend its longest winning streak since 1982 to 12 games.

On a day Adam Wainwright faltered early, St. Louis rallied with one run in the fifth, four in the seventh, two in the eighth and one in the ninth. The Cardinals moved five games ahead of Cincinnati and Philadelphia, who played later Thursday, for the second NL wild card.

Milwaukee has lost five straight since clinching its fourth consecutive playoff berth on Sept. 18, four to St. Louis.

T.J. McFarland (4-1) pitched a one-hit seventh, and Giovanny Gallegos struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 12th save, Aaron Ashby (3-1) was the loser.


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Chris Bassitt pitched three scoreless innings less than a month after surgery to repair three facial fractures, but Seattle rallied against Oakland’s bullpen for a four-game sweep.

Seattle matched its season high with its fifth straight win and moved within two games of the idle Yankees for the second AL wild-card spot. Oakland fell four games back of New York.

Bassitt was struck by a 100 mph line drive off the bat of Brian Goodwin of the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 17 and had surgery seven days later. He allowed one hit in three scoreless innings.

Mitch Haniger’s 35th homer tied the score in the sixth, and Luis Torrens followed with a go-ahead, two-run homer off Jake Diekman (3-3).

Joe Smith (3-4) pitched a scoreless fifth and Paul Sewald got his 10th save.


PHOENIX (AP) — Carson Kelly hit a tying three-run homer off Jacob Webb (5-4) in a five-run seventh,and Daulton Varsho followed with a go-ahead double for last-place Arizona against the NL East-leading Braves.

Seeking its fourth straight division title, Atlanta saw its lead cut to 2 1/2 games over Philadelphia.

Arizona, which began the day tied with Baltimore for the major leagues’ worst record at 48-104, announced before the game that manager Torey Lovullo was given a one-year contract extension through 2022.

Sean Poppen (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh for his first major league victory. J.B. Wendelken got his second save.

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