ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – José Abreu matched the major league RBI lead, Yasmani Grandal homered for the second game in a row and the Chicago White Sox moved closer to their first AL Central title since 2008 with a 7-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.
Abreu’s two-run single capped a five-run fourth for the White Sox and pushed his RBI total to 113, tying Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez. Abreu is trying to join Cecil Fielder (1990-92) as the only AL players to lead the league in RBIs in three consecutive seasons.
The magic number is four for Chicago (85-64) to win the division title over second-place Cleveland. The White Sox, looking to make the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history, on Thursday start a span of five games over four days in Cleveland.
Chicago’s big inning started when Grandal led off by lining a ball just over the wall in right-center for his 22nd homer. Cesar Herrnandez also had a two-run single in that outburst off Jordan Lyles (9-12) for a 5-0 lead.
Lucas Giolito (9-10) struck out four while allowing one run over 5 1/3 innings. It was the right-hander’s second start since missing two weeks because of a strained left hamstring.
Lyles, who was trying to win in four consecutive outings for the first time in his career, didn’t make it out of the fourth inning. He allowed five runs on eight hits while striking out three, walking three and hitting Abreu with a pitch in the first.