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White Sox take last play-off spot
Chicago capture American League Central Division title with thrilling win.
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2008 07:28 GMT

John Danks throws a pitch [GALLO/GETTY]

The Chicago White Sox have captured the American League Central Division title with a thrilling 1-0 win over the Minnesota Twins in a sudden-death playoff game.

Jim Thome's solo home run in the seventh inning off Minnesota starter Nick Blackburn accounted for the game's only run, sending the White Sox into the AL Divisional Series against the Tampa Bay Rays starting on Thursday.

Bobby Jenks celebrates the win [GALLO/GETTY]
Brilliant play

John Danks pitched a brilliant two-hitter over eight innings for the win and closer Bobby Jenks pitched a scoreless ninth for the save in the 163rd game of the season for both teams.

Several White Sox players returned to the file after the game and sprayed fans with champagne as the White Sox now prepare to bid for their first World Series title since 2005.

Fightback

"We bounce back every time we are against the wall," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said.

"It was a real battle right to the last out.

"We just got the last laugh."

Chicago dominance

The White Sox will join the crosstown Cubs in the playoffs, the first time since 1906 that the two Chicago teams have played in the post-season.

The White Sox also got a clutch defensive play from Ken Griffey Jr., who like Thome is 38 years old and still looking for his first World Series title.

Griffey, who came to the White Sox in a trade with the Reds this season so he could have a chance of taking part in the playoffs, threw out Michael Cuddyer at the plate in the fifth inning.

That was the only real scoring chance the Twins had as they could manage just a double by Cuddyer in the fifth "He did a heck of a job," Thome said of Griffey.

Fan support

"I'm so happy for him too.

"We're so happy our fans were able to take part in this with us.

"They've been great all season and now we have some playoff games coming as well," he said.

The teams completed the regular season with identical 88-74 records, resulting in the one-game showdown for the division title.

It was just the eighth one-game playoff ever in Major League Baseball.

Source:
Agencies
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