x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Chicago's double joy as the White Sox triumph

For the first time in more than a century, Chicago has two teams in the Major League Baseball play-offs.

The Chicago White Sox's Jim Thome celebrates with fans after the battling 1-0 win over the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central tiebreaker game.
The Chicago White Sox's Jim Thome celebrates with fans after the battling 1-0 win over the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central tiebreaker game.

CHICAGO // For the first time in more than a century, Chicago has two teams in the Major League Baseball play-offs. The Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 1-0 on Tuesday in a one-game play-off to break the tie in the American League Central division standings, putting them into a five-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

John Danks pitched eight innings of two-hit ball on short rest, Jim Thome broke a scoreless tie with a mammoth homer and Ken Griffey Jr. threw out a runner at the plate with a tough tag by catcher AJ Pierzynski. The White Sox joined the crosstown Cubs in the postseason - the first time since 1906 that both Chicago teams have made it to the business end of the season. "It just proves that Chicago is a great baseball city," Thome said. "We're so happy from our end that Sox fans get to enjoy this."

Thome's long drive to snap a scoreless tie in the seventh inning travelled around 461 feet and was the 541st career home run of his career. Griffey, who came to the White Sox in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds mid-season so he could have a chance at the play-offs, cut down Michael Cuddyer with a nice throw in the fifth. Griffey, who like Thome is 38, will be making his first postseason appearance since 1997 with Seattle.

"He did a heck of a job," Thome said. "I'm so happy for him, too." The Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said: "It just was a night where we couldn't score any runs. It is really tough right now and we'll just have to live with it." In the other American League Division series play-off match, the Los Angeles Angels will take on the Boston Red Sox. In the National League division series, the Cubs meet the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies will face the Milwaukee Brewers.

* Associated Press