Rookie Steven Kwan homered among his three hits and Triston McKenzie struck out 13 as the Cleveland Guardians beat the Chicago White Sox 8-2 on Wednesday, moving one step closer to their first championship title. American League Central since 2018.
Kwan hit in each of his first three at-bats, capped by his fifth home run of the season off Lance Lynn (7-6) on the first pitch of the fourth inning. Kwan is hitting .538 (14-for-26) in his last five games.
The Guardians (82-67) have won seven of their last eight games and have cut their “magic number” to win their division title to seven games. By clinching the season series, Cleveland has ensured that it wins the division in the event of a tie with Chicago.
The White Sox (76-73) lost for the third time in their last five games.
McKenzie (11-11) allowed two runs and six hits to match the longest work of his career at eight innings. He did not walk and fell one strikeout short of his best mark, set against the White Sox on Aug. 19.
He is 2-0 with a 2.16 ERA in four starts against Chicago this season.
For the Guardians, the Venezuelan Andrés Giménez 4-2 with a run scored and two RBIs. The Dominicans Óscar González 5-1 with a run scored and one produced, Amed Rosario, 5-1 and José Ramírez, 4-0 with a run scored.
For the White Sox, Dominican Eloy Jiménez 4-1 with a run scored. Cubans Yasmani Grandal 3-1 and José Abreu 4-1. The Venezuelan Elvis Andrus 4-0.