Chicago White Sox still waiting on playoff clinch after falling to Twins
In a short season already packed with exciting moments for the White Sox, Wednesday presented another enticing offering.
Clinching a playoff berth.
The Sox haven't had a postseason celebration since 2008, when they beat the Twins 1-0 in a one-game playoff to win the AL Central.
The White Sox needed to beat the Minnesota on Wednesday night, and they needed the Tigers and Mariners to lose to clinch a spot.
Detroit lost and Seattle was trailing big in a West Coast game, but the Sox will have to wait at least another day after falling to the Twins 5-1 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
With a win against Minnesota on Thursday, the White Sox will punch their ticket. Dallas Keuchel (back spasms) was expected to come off the injured list and start, but the veteran left-hander has been pushed back to the Reds series this weekend.
Reynaldo Lopez takes the mound in the fourth and final game of the Minnesota series.
"It's been a long time coming," said Sox starter Lucas Giolito, who took the loss Wednesday. "We've been working toward this for many years now. As I've said before, we had a lot of confidence coming into this year. We knew we were going to be a lot better than people were saying.
"And so now, I think we just kind of flush this one. It's just one of those nights where we didn't really put it together. Come back tomorrow, hopefully close out this series on a high note and keep playing good baseball down the stretch."
Giolito pitched 6 innings against the Twins and gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks.
The Sox's high-powered offense was limited to 2 hits, highlighted by Jose Abreu's solo home run.
The White Sox have the best record in the American League (32-17), and they have much higher goals than clinching a playoff berth.
"Even though we started the season a little slow, since the moment we started the season we felt like we feel right now," rookie center fielder Luis Robert said through a translator. "We're filled with confidence. Of course, once the results start going your way, you feel that confidence enhance."
Their six-game winning streak is over, but the Sox are still aiming big in the days ahead.
"Making the playoffs was expected," Giolito said. "So for us, the ultimate goal is to win the World Series, straight up. We've just got to keep playing the way we know how to play on a daily basis and pick each other up when we need to.
"Tonight was one of those nights and I think that we do a very good job of kind of putting that away and getting back to what we need to do the next day. I think that's part of the reason we've been so good, is even after losses we don't lose confidence. We know what we're capable of the next day and the day after that and so on."