CHICAGO – Luis Arraes won the AL batting title by hitting a double in the third inning after two walkers to end the season with a .316 hit, and the Minnesota Twins had a 10-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.
Arraes was almost certain that he would get the better of the Yankees. Aaron Judge for the batting crown when the day began. He dispelled any doubts by passing his first two plate appearances and then landing a shot that narrowly missed the right fielder’s glove. Gavin Sheets before he was raised as a runner.
“It’s amazing,” Arraez said. “That was one of my goals. I’m living the dream right now. It’s amazing to me because I’ve worked hard for it.”
Judge, who missed the Yankees’ season finale, batted .311 with an AL-record 62 homers and a league-leading 131 RBIs.
Arraes’ .316 batting average was the lowest for an AL champion since Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski hit .301 in 1968.
“I couldn’t sleep last night, I kept thinking and thinking about it,” Arraes said.
Gary Sanchez and Jermaine Palacios homered during a six-run first inning for Minnesota that broke a four-game drift. The Twins finished 78–84, up six games from 2021.
The White Sox (81–81), last year’s AL Central champions, snapped their three-game winning streak and finished 12 games behind their 2021 record.
Arraez, 25, became the fifth twin to win the batting title, joining Rod Carew (seven), Tony Olive and Joe Mauer (three each) and Kirby Puckett (one).
“I think he got what he hoped for,” said Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli. “And he’s not the kind of guy who usually thinks about things like that on a personal level. He is a team player and is here to win and compete.”
Arraes was hugged at the top of the dugout steps. Carlos Correawho planned to give him a Louis Vuitton trolley bag before the game in recognition of his accomplishments.
“(Correa) is amazing,” Arraez said. “He sets an example for us. He’s a leader and I really love this guy.”
Arraes batted .361 (13 of 36) on a nine-game hitting streak to end the season.
“It wasn’t easy,” Arraez said. But my mind is strong.
Sanchez hit his 16th homer, a three-shot, from the Chicago starter. David Martin (3-6) and he added an RBI double during a three-run second. Palacios hit his second homer in as many games with two shots. Martin was charged with nine runs in 2 2/3 innings and pulled out with right bicep soreness.
“He had a little cramp,” Chicago Interim manager Miguel Cairo said. “I didn’t want to risk it.”
Louis Warland (1-2) allowed four hits in five scoreless innings in his fifth major league start. The 24-year-old crossed out the five and did not allow to walk. Josh Harrison was the only Chicago batter to reach second base against Warland when he was leading second base with a double. Warland bounced back with a strike Mark Payton, Romi Gonzalez as well as male barrier contract.
Chicago didn’t score until the ninth, when Carlos Perez hit a one-out double off pitcher Cole Sands and pitched Romy Gonzalez. Sands worked out the last four chances for his first save.
“We didn’t want to end up like this, but they’ve been playing hard for the last month,” Cairo said.
The Twins have led the AL Central in 108 games but have won 7-27 in their last 34 road games.
“These were all the games you were looking for in the final game for us,” Baldelli said.
LAST CALL CORREA?
Correa plans to speak to the Twins’ front office to see “what headroom they have” before likely giving up the last two years of his three-year, $105.3 million contract.
“You know enough about this game to know what my decision will be,” Correa said. “I love this team. I love this organization.”
Correa could earn more annually on the open market.
“I want to make sure my son and family are taken care of and the Gemini will see what kind of player I am, what kind of person I am and how much I love the game,” he said.
ANOTHER VIEW ON ABREU
Chicago first baseman Jose Abreu decided to spend his last day in a White Sox uniform on the bench. Abreu, 35, is completing the final year of a three-year, $50 million contract and has made it clear he wants to play next season. The 2020 AL MVP is third in franchise history with 243 homers over nine seasons.
White Sox: Infielder Leuri Garcia did not play the last 14 games due to back tightness.
Chicago went 18-16 at Cairo after Tony La Russa was sidelined for health issues. On Tuesday, La Russa announced that he would not be returning next year. General manager Rick Khan said that Cairo would be interviewing for a permanent job.
This season, the White Sox drew 2,009,359, more than 350,000 more than their total of 1,649,775 in 2019, the last season before COVID-19 restrictions.
Twins: Split Roster Spring Training Opening in Florida, February 25th.
White Sox: Spring Training Begins Against Padres in Glendale, Arizona
KANSAS CITY, Missouri. Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas City Royals Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a sluggish 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.
The Royals exercised their option on Matheny’s 2023 contract during spring training when the club hoped he would go from underdog to contender once again. But due to poor pitching, struggling with young players in the positions, and failed experiments with veterans, by mid-summer, the Royals were virtually out of the playoffs.
A disappointing product led owner John Sherman to fire a longtime front office executive last month. Dayton Moore, creator of the American League Champions and 2015 World Series Champions. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, JJ Piccollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours into the season.
Matheny became the fifth major league manager to be sacked this year.
Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who miraculously took the Phillies to the playoffs as a wildcard team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was replaced by John Schneider on July 13, and Rangers’ Chris Woodward was replaced by Tony Beasley on August 15.
Also, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he would not be returning next season.