Abreu, White Sox closer to AL Central title, beat Rangers

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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.

SHORT HOPS

Rangers SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa had two singles and a walk. He drove in a run and scored the other for the Rangers on a sacrifice fly by Adolis Garcia in the eighth. ... Kiner-Falefa also had two stolen bases for the Rangers, who are 18 of 18 on steal attempts in September. ... RHP Kohei Arihara was designated for assignment by the Rangers, who signed the Japanese pitcher to a two-year contract last winter. If he clears waivers, Texas could outright him to the minors and bring him to spring training as a non-roster player.

TRAINER’S ROOM

White Sox: Manager Tony La Russa said OF Adam Engel, who has been out more than a month with left shoulder inflammation, is “getting better, making a lot of progress,” and could return to the team this week.

Rangers: RHP Mike Foltynewicz was activated from COVID-related injury list, then pitched three innings in relief. He allowed two runs and two hits over three innings in his first appearance since Aug. 18.

UP NEXT

White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodón (12-5, 2.38 ERA) has won four consecutive starts going into the opener of a three-game series at Detroit on Monday night. Rodón is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Tigers this season.

Rangers: Rookie RHP A.J. Alexy (2-0, 3.68), who pitched in relief in his last appearance, makes his third career start Monday night in a series opener at the New York Yankees. Alexy has thrown 11 scoreless innings while allowing only two hits as a starter.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Stephen Hawkins, The Associated Press

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