The Chicago White Sox finally looked like a playoff team again on Tuesday.
They’ll look to put some more distance between themselves and the relentless Cleveland Indians as the AL Central rivals wrap up their big three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.
After dropping the series opener, the White Sox outlasted the Indians 7-6 in 10 innings on Tuesday, increasing their lead in the division to 3 1/2 games over wild card-leading Cleveland.
Joe Crede led off the 10th with his second homer of the night for Chicago, which won for just the fourth time in 12 games.
“I’ve had other walk-off home runs, but they’ve either been earlier in the season or we were out of it,” Crede said.
The White Sox led the division by 15 games on Aug. 1 and by 9 1/2 on Sept. 7. The Indians had won six straight and 13 of 14 coming in.
“Two and a half, 1 1/2, we just can’t worry about that stuff,” said Cleveland left fielder Coco Crisp, who had three hits Tuesday. “Whether we’re playing the White Sox or Kansas City, we just have to win. This was one of the best games I’ve ever played in.”
The Indians’ lead over the New York Yankees in the wild-card race is down to a half-game.
Garland allowed just seven hits in six innings of a 4-0 win on July 17, while Elarton gave up four runs and eight hits in seven innings to take the loss.
Elarton won his third straight start Friday, allowing one run and five hits in 7 2-3 innings of a 3-1 victory over the Royals. He became the fourth Cleveland starter with at least 10 wins, joining Cliff Lee, Jake Westbrook and C.C. Sabathia.
“Reaching 10 is nice, but it is much more exciting to be in the race,” said Elarton, who had not won more than four games in a season at the major league level since going 17-7 for Houston in 2000.