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White Sox claim rubber game against Blue Jays behind strong Keuchel exit

White Sox claim rubber game against Blue Jays behind strong Keuchel exit

Dallas Keuchel pitched six effective innings, Yasmani Grandal hit a homerun and the Chicago White Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 Thursday night.

Led by Keuchel, Chicago closed a 5-2 homestand and improved its lead over AL Central to a high of 4 1/2 games against inactive Cleveland. Adam Engel also went deep, and reigning AL MVP Jose Abreu had two RBI doubles.

It was the White Sox’s first game since they placed second baseman Nick Madrigal on the injured list with a tear in his right thigh. Madrigal was injured when he tried to beat a player on the floor in the seventh inning of Wednesday night’s 6-2 loss to Toronto.

Chicago has been hit hard by injuries this year, but it continues to roll.

Losing Madrigal is “a blow, but games still count and we have to move forward,” manager Tony La Russa said.

Marcus Semien and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. each produced a run for Toronto, who lost for the fourth time in six games. Hyun Jin Ryu (5-4) pitched six innings of three-pointers in his second straight loss.

Joe Panik and Santiago Espinal’s field hits set up Semien’s two-out RBI single in the fifth. A mental blunder from White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada paved the way for the Blue Jays’ second inning in the sixth.

With one out and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in first place, Moncada lined up Randal Grichuk’s ground player and pitched first instead of second to get the first runner. Guerrero advanced on wild ground and scored on Gurriel’s two-out single, reducing Chicago’s lead to 3-2.

But Keuchel (5-1) escaped the jam by removing Riley Adams on a ball in the center with two runners. Engel then hit his first homer of the season in the seventh, sending a solo deep down the center against Anthony Castro.

After Keuchel left, Evan Marshall and Codi Heuer each got three strikeouts before Liam Hendriks worked the ninth for his 16th stop at the top of the AL.

The White Sox got off to a quick start against Ryu, scoring three times in the first. Abreu passed Yermin Mercedes at home before Grandal struck on the right for his 10th homeroom.

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