KANSAS CITY – If his efforts happened during a game of consequnence, it would have been named in his honor. But it’s hard to do that in a mid-September contest in which the teams on the field bring up the bottom of the American League Central division.
Yet the efforts of Tim Anderson in the 11th and 12th innings for the White Sox on Wednesday night were certainly worthy of recognition, and brought a much needed bit of a good news to a struggling team.
The shortstop saved the game in the bottom of the 11th with a double play, then hit a go-ahead homer in the top of the next inning, then made an off-balance throw from the outfield on a ground to end a 4-2 White Sox victory over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium Thursday night.
Anderson’s heroics may not clinch any sort of milestone for the team, but it did snap a seven-game losing streak and gives the shortstop his most memorable game of the 2018 season.
It started in the bottom of the 11th inning Kansas City looked poised for a second-straight walk-off win. After getting the first out of the inning, Juan Minaya surrendered a double to Salvador Perez – who was pinch-run for by Brett Phillips – and then a walk to Alcides Escobar. Each advanced a base when Manaya threw a wild pitch.
But Anderson save the game when he snagged a line drive in the infied from Roselle Herrera, and threw to third where Phillips was off the base heading home to end the inning.
Then the shortstop used his bat in the bottom half of the inning, slamming a two-run homer off Burch Smith to give the White Sox a two-run lead. It was his 19th of the season and his first since September 2nd and was his second hit of the game.
As if that wasn’t enough, Anderson got the chance to end the game in fitting fashion. Whit Merrifield hit a ball deep into the hole in short, but he managed to come up with the ball, and threw to first in plenty of time for the game-closing out.
This effort continues a better year for Anderson, who endured a rough 2017 season. While his average is still nine points lower than last year, the shortstop has seen a two-homer jump and has six more RBI than a year ago. His on-base percentage is up as well, going up to .290 from .276 from last year.
It’s not drastic, but like the rest of the White Sox, it’s a steady build. Certainly the “Tim Anderson Game” is a highlight.