Not many people picked the White Sox to win the AL Central. They’re making believers out of the Twins, though.
“It’s been impressive, all the way around the field,” Paul Molitor said of the Sox, whom the Twins beat 13 times last season. “They made plays, in the infield and outfield, the whole series.”
The White Sox won 3-1 Sunday to sweep the three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.
The addition of Austin Jackson to play center field has particularly paid off against Minnesota. Jackson made a great running catch coming toward the infield in the first inning to double up Eduardo Nunez. And in the ninth inning, Oswaldo Arcia led off with a blast to the wall in right-center, a certain double — until Jackson made a running leap to snag it. With Jackson in center, Adam Eaton moves to right, where he also plays great defense.
“Eaton has transitioned really well to right field. He covers a lot of ground, attacks the ball,” Molitor said. “And Jackson’s just got great range. He went a long way for that ball and caught it close to the fence. We were hoping it would get down and give us some life in the ninth.”
No, it’s the White Sox who have life, having won 12 of their last 16 games to pull five games clear of second-place Cleveland in the AL Central — and 13 1/2 games up on the Twins, the greatest deficit Minnesota has ever faced at this point of the season. Not bad for a team that finished fourth a year ago, 19 games behind the Royals.
“It’s a tough lineup, top to bottom,” pitcher Tyler Duffey said. “They’ve got veteran guys, young guys, fast guys, power guys — it’s a great mix of hitters.”