The Cleveland Guardians defeated the Texas Rangers (box score) on Sunday, extending their winning streak to seven and clinching the American League Central title. The Guardians have technically secured their Premier League title since 2018, when the Chicago White Sox lost to the Detroit Tigers — the Guardians came into Sunday with a nine-game lead over the White Sox and with 10 games remaining at what made the clinch inevitable.
Cleveland can credit Sunday’s win to a few other players, including rookie outfielder Steven Kwan, who hit a grand slam en route to three hits and five runs from the table. Starter Aaron Civale, meanwhile, held the Rangers on two runs to three hits over the course of five innings.
The Guardians had dominated the Central from 2016 to 2018, reeling off three consecutive divisional crowns. The years since have not been so kind, having finished second or worse in the last three years. This is their first playoff spot of any kind since the pandemic-altered 2020 campaign, which featured a bloated postseason bracket.
It’s worth noting that the Guardians are the youngest team in the majors weighted by playing time. according to MLB.com’s Sarah Langs. They are only the eighth club to make the playoffs with the honor and the first since the New York Mets in 1986.
Cleveland, which is likely to be No. 3 in AL’s postseason bracket, can celebrate after Sunday’s results, but the mood in Chicago was more somber. Reigning White Sox skipper Miguel Cairo fumed at his club’s efforts after Sunday’s loss. “That is not acceptable. This isn’t baseball,” he told reporters. including The Athletic’s James Fegan. Cairo replaces Tony La Russa, who will be out for the rest of the year due to medical problems.
https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/guardians-clinch-first-al-central-title-since-2018-white-sox-called-out-by-acting-manager-after-latest-loss/ Guardians claim first AL Central title since 2018; White Sox called acting manager after last loss