Jimenez homer makes the difference in Texas
Say the name Eloy Jimenez and the first thing you probably think about is the injured list.
The White Sox's bubbly left fielder has had a tough time staying off the IL in recent seasons, and this one's no different.
Running to first base in an April 23 game in Minnesota, Jimenez tore a tendon in his right hamstring and was out for 10 weeks.
He missed almost four months last season with a pectoral tendon and was on the IL twice in 2019.
Needless to say, Jimenez is sick of being hurt.
He wants to get back to being known for doing offensive damage and hitting home runs. Those are two critical needs for the Sox as they head into the stretch run.
Jimenez has been supplying most of the White Sox's limited power since returning from the hamstring injury in early July, and that trend continued in Friday night's 2-1 win over the Rangers.
With the game tied at 1 in the fourth inning, Jimenez homered to center field and that decided the outcome.
It took Jimenez a couple weeks to get his timing back after he came off the IL, but he's 18-for-41 (.439) with 4 home runs and 8 RBI over his last 11 games.
Friday's homer pulled the Sox (54-52) into a second-place tie with Cleveland in the AL Central.
The more he plays, the more Jimenez is looking like the hitter who blasted 31 home runs in only 122 games as a rookie in 2019.
"I feel better," Jimenez said earlier in the week. "I'm seeing the ball good. I've been doing good contact. When I hit the ball hard, that means that I'm good. When I hit the ball like pretty much out of 10 at-bats, seven or six hard on the barrel, yeah, I'm good."
Dylan Cease has been very good all season, and the American League's Pitcher of the Month for June and July overcame a wobbly beginning Friday.
After giving up a run on a pair of walks and a single in the first inning and allowing another walk and a single in the second, Cease settled in and retired the final 13 Texas hitters he faced before turning the game over to Joe Kelly, Kendall Graveman and Liam Hendriks.
Cease has made 13 straight starts where he's allowed 1 earned run or less and his ERA stands at 1.98.
The right-hander didn't need much offensive support, but he got just enough thanks to Jimenez.
"I need to be out there first for me and then for my teammates," Jimenez said. "That's giving me more motivation to keep going. It's been tough, but now we are here."