The Chicago White Sox came from behind to beat the Minnesota Twins on Thursday afternoon to take three of four and clinch a spot in the 2020 MLB Postseason.
Reynaldo Lopez got the start for the injured Dallas Keuchel and Kenta Maeda took the ball for the Twins. The story was the home run ball until the Sox grabbed the lead in their half of the seventh.
In the top of the second, Byron Buxton continued swinging a hot bat in the series. He took a two-strike slider down the left-field line to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. It was Buxton's third home run of the series.
The Sox finally got to Maeda in their half of the fourth. Jose Abreu hit a solo home run to tie the game at 1-1. It was his 17th long ball of the year.
The tie didn't last long, however. In the top of the fifth, Buxton hit his fourth homer of the series and second of the day to give Minnesota a 2-1 advantage.
Leading off the bottom half for the Sox, Edwin Encarnacion sent a solo shot to left field that tied the game up again. 2-2.
In the top of the sixth, the home runs continued. Josh Donaldson hit a solo jack to retake the lead for the Twins. Before crossing the dish, Donaldson kicked dirt at the home plate umpire and was immediately ejected.
This came after he was jawing back-and-forth with him about balls and strikes. Nevertheless, Donaldson's home run made 3-2 Twins and brought about pitching change for the Sox as Jimmy Cordero relieved Lopez.
Matt Wisler came in for Maeda and the Twins in the bottom of the sixth and was greeted by a Yasmani Grandal leadoff double. Abreu followed with a walk to put two on with nobody out. The Minnesota reliever hit Encarnacion to load the bases and was then pulled for Trevor May. May was able to wiggle out of the threat and maintain the one-run lead.
After the stretch, Tyler Clippard came on to pitch for Minnesota. Jarrod Dyson led off with a single. With the speedster on the move, Nick Madrigal lined out to right. Luckily, Max Kepler's throw to the first base was off the mark, so the Sox avoided being doubled up on the play.
With Tim Anderson at the plate, Dyson swiped second. The Sox shortstop grounded out to second, which advanced Dyson to third with two outs. Grandal walked on four straight balls, which prompted another pitching change.
Sergio Romo came on for Clippard to face Abreu. With two strikes, the league's RBI leader tied the game on an infield single, 3-3. Eloy Jimenez followed with a first-pitch double down the left-field line that plated Yolmer Sanchez, who pinch-ran for Grandal, 4-3 Sox.
That one-run lead would hold up as Alex Colome closed things down in the ninth to end the ballgame. 4-3 was the final.
This victory extended the White Sox division lead to three games over Minnesota and clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2008. The team hits the road for a three-game series with Cincinnati beginning tomorrow at 6:05 PM CT. Jonathan Stiever will get the start for the Sox. Be sure to check out the Sox On Tap podcast for further analysis, updates, and commentary.