23 September (WNN) — The Chicago White Sox scored a 7-2 win over the Cleveland Indians in the first game of a doubleheader on Thursday at Progressive Field to win their first American League Central title in more than a decade.
It is the sixth division championship for the White Sox and the club’s first since 2008. Chicago is the first MLB team to win a division title this season, and the White Sox are set to make their first back-to-back post-season appearances in the franchise. History.
The White Sox made it to the playoffs as a wild-card team in 2020, but they lost to the Oakland Athletics in the first round.
“To me the whole thing is ‘imaginary island,'” said White Sox manager Tony La Russa. “Coming back like this. We all know the truth. First three jobs, the club was struggling when I took over. Managers don’t walk into a situation like this, a team is so ready to win. So I I am very, very lucky.”
The 76-year-old La Russa managed the White Sox from 1979-86 before taking over the A’s (1986–95) and the St. Louis Cardinals (1996–2011). He won a combined three World Series titles in Oakland and St. Louis and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.
After a decade-long absence, La Russa came out of retirement in October 2020 for his second stint as manager of the White Sox.
“He came in and allowed us to be ourselves,” White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson said of La Russa. “He always puts the players first. He allowed us to play the game the way we want and allowed us to have some fun.”
Anderson led the White Sox to victory against the Indians with two home runs on Thursday. Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert also went deep in the second innings, cursing back-to-back homers.
The White Sox are expected to face the Houston Astros in the American League Division Series next month.