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WATCH: Chicago White Sox drub Cleveland Indians in Game 1 to clinch AL Central

Sep 23, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson (7) celebrates after hitting his second home run of the game during the second inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Anderson homered twice to help the visiting Chicago White Sox clinch the American League Central title with a 7-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday in the opener of a doubleheader.

Anderson led off the game with a homer and added a three-run shot to highlight a six-run second inning for the White Sox (86-66), who won their first division title since 2008.

Chicago’s Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez launched back-to-back homers to lead off the second. Robert added an RBI single later in the inning, and former Cleveland player Cesar Hernandez joined Anderson with three hits in the game.

Austin Hedges launched a solo homer in the third inning and Bobby Bradley did the same in the fourth for the Indians (74-77), who were eliminated from postseason contention with the loss.

Aaron Bummer (4-5) struck out one batter in one scoreless inning of relief to pick up the victory.

Aaron Civale (11-5), who tossed six shutout innings against the New York Yankees on Saturday, surrendered seven runs on as many hits — including four homers — in 1 2/3 frames on Thursday.

Anderson set the tone early by depositing a 1-1 cutter from Civale over the wall in right-center field.

Robert extended his hitting streak to 12 games after sending a first-pitch sinker from Civale over the wall in left field to open the second inning. Jimenez followed suit by crushing a 1-2 fastball to join Robert with nine homers on the season.

Chicago didn’t let up, however, as two quick singles set the stage for Anderson, who deposited a 0-1 fastball over the wall in right field. Anderson’s sixth career multi-homer performance upped his season HR total to 16, with three coming against Cleveland.

Robert capped the second-inning uprising with a long RBI single that caromed off the wall in center field.

Cleveland made a dent in the third inning as Hedges capped a nine-pitch at-bat against starter Reynaldo Lopez with his ninth homer of the season.

Bradley ended Lopez’s afternoon by sending a 3-1 fastball over the wall for his 15th homer in the fourth.

–Field Level Media