White Sox clinch first playoff berth since 2008


CHICAGO — The White Sox clinched their first postseason berth since 2008, rallying to beat the Minnesota Twins 4-3 Thursday as Eloy Jimenez hit a tiebreaking double that capped a two-run rally in the seventh inning.

Chicago (33-17) opened a three-game lead over the second-place Twins (31-21) in the American League Central. The White Sox are assured of no worse than a wild-card berth.

Jose Abreu homered and drove in two runs and Edwin Encarnacion also homered for Chicago, which won three of four in the series.

Chicago trailed 3-2 in the seventh when Abreu, who leads the major leagues with 51 RBIs, beat out an infield hit on a slow grounder to shortstop to drive in Jarrod Dyson from third base.

Jimenez, who had struck out in his three previous at-bats, followed with a double that drove in pinch runner Yolmer Sanchez.

Byron Buxton homered twice, giving him seven in his past nine games and 12 this season. Josh Donaldson also went deep for Minnesota, whose lead for home-field advantage in the first round was cut to 1½ games over the New York Yankees.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning after a strike was called on a checked swing on a 2-0 pitch. After manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, Donaldson homered on the next offering and kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it. Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

Codi Heuer (3-0) pitched a scoreless 1⅔ innings, and Alex Colome got four outs for his 12th save in 13 chances.

Tyler Clippard (1-1) gave up two runs in two-thirds of an inning.

The first five runs were scored on solo homers.

Buxton homered in the second, Abreu tied it in the fourth, and Buxton gave the Twins a 2-1 lead in the fifth with a 420-foot drive. Encarnacion tied it the bottom half.

Minnesota had a chance to extend the lead in the seventh when center fielder Luis Robert allowed Ryan Jeffers‘ fly ball to glance off his glove for an error. Buxton started the play on first and was near second and started to return when the ball fell, then he sprinted home. Robert quickly retrieved the ball and fed cutoff man Nick Madrigal, who made a one-hop throw to catcher Yasmani Grandal for the tag.

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