The Chicago White Sox knew well ahead of Thursday's doubleheader at the Cleveland Indians that they would soon clinch the American League Central title. Chicago nevertheless did it in style and did so at the rival club.
Chicago downed Cleveland 7-2 at Progressive Field in the opening game of Thursday's twin bill to put an end to a race that stopped being competitive weeks, if not months, ago:
As Jesse Rogers noted for ESPN, the White Sox improved to 86-66 and to 11.5 games up on Cleveland (74-77) to clinch their first division crown since 2008. They wasted little time in putting the matter to bed, as All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson went deep in each of the contest's first two innings. Outfielders Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez hit back-to-back home runs in the second, and Chicago exited the top half of that frame with a 7-0 advantage.
The visitors didn't need to cross the plate again.
Along with seeing each other again Thursday evening, the White Sox and Cleveland will complete a series through the weekend. Cleveland plays its final home game Sunday afternoon before the franchise changes its name to the Guardians at some point after the season finale on Oct. 3.