— The Chicago White Sox clinched the American League Central title by virtue of a 7-2 victory over the second-place Cleveland Indians on Thursday.

The celebration on the field was subdued, in part, because the teams had Game 2 of their doubleheader to play but also because the White Sox have much bigger goals in mind. They made the postseason as a wild card team in 2020, but lost in the first round.

The decisive win came on the strength of four home runs, including two by the White Sox All-Star shortstop in the first two innings of the game. Outfielders Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert had back-to-back home runs in the second inning.  Indians pitcher Aaron Civale gave up all four homers and lasted just 1 2/3 innings.

In the second game, Oscar Mercado broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run homer in the seventh as Cleveland earned a split. Straw led off with a single and Mercado followed with his first game-ending home run, a drive off José Ruiz (1-3).

The White Sox trailed 3-2 entering the seventh, but strung together three straight hits against Emmanuel Clase (4-5). Gavin Sheets scored when Hernández hit into a forceout.