After spending the entire season rolling around in the bottom of the AL Central, the White Sox and Royals didn’t want to let each other go.
Tim Anderson finally decided he had enough.
The White Sox put Adam Engel in motion on a 1-0 count and two outs in the top of the 12th, but he didn’t have to run. Anderson got on top of an elevated 91 mph Burch Smith fastball and clubbed it just over the wall in left center. The only one who was sure about it was Anderson, who sauntered out of the batter’s box before starting his trot.
And if that wasn’t enough, Anderson recorded the final out with a strong throw off his back foot after snagging a one-hopper in the hole. His play on both sides of the 12th inning allowed the White Sox avoid the sweep while snapping a seven-game losing streak. The Sox had already locked up the season series, but now it’s 11-8 instead of 10-9.
The only regret about Anderson’s homer was that Sal Perez wasn’t there to watch it with him. Perez was lifted for pinch-running Brett Phillips after his one-out double against Juan Minaya in the bottom of the 11th. Minaya then walked Alcides Escobar, and both runners advanced on a wild pitch.
But as luck would have it, the Royals didn’t score, and it was the pinch runner’s fault. Phillips took off for home on contact when Rosell Herrera poked a line drive to the left side. It was hit right to Anderson, and a casual throw capped off the double play.
The White Sox had a few unusual twin-killing combinations, and a couple bailed out Carlos Rodon, who didn’t inspire much confidence after his five-walk outing against the Angels the last time out. He issued five more walks this time around, albeit over six innings. He limited the damage to just two runs with the help of his defense.
In the first, they turned a 7-6-4 double play when Alex Gordon lined out to Ryan LaMarre in left with the runner in motion. In the third, Jose Rondon took the teeth out of a scary inning. After Rodon walked the first two batters on nine pitches, Rondon fielded Whit Merrifield’s grounder, stepped on third, then fired to second to get two lead runners with a 6-5 double play.
(Rodon being off, Merrifield still scored on a stolen base and an Adalberto Mondesi single.)
Similar circumstances led to the Royals’ second run, which came after the Royals ran themselves out of a bigger threat. Rodon issued a four-pitch walk to Ryan O’Hearn, then gave up a wallbanger double to Merrifield. LaMarre got the ball in to Tim Anderson, who fired to third because O’Hearn was late picking up the stop sign and slipped trying to slam the brakes. Rondon handled the throw and flopped a tag on O’Hearn before O’Hearn could touch the bag. Once again, Mondesi came through with an RBI single to tie the game at 2, but a crooked number was avoided.
The Sox and Royals then spent the rest of the game spoiling the rare mild threats they generated. The White Sox had runners on first and second with one out in the seventh. Both runners moved up on an Engel groundout, but Rick Renteria may have pressed the Daniel Palka button too early. Ned Yost called for the intentional walk to face Anderson, and Anderson grounded out softly to end the threat.
Aaron Bummer then had to end the bottom of the seventh inning twice after he lobbed a throw to first after fielding a chopper to the third-base side, and Mondesi beat it out. He retired Alex Gordon on a grounder to leave the bases loaded.
*Jose Rondon gave the Sox the first two runs of the game with a two-run homer, giving him 23 between Charlotte and Chicago. He also drew two walks, giving him 23 between Charlotte and Chicago.
*The White Sox walked O’Hearn in each of his three times up, which is troubling when 1) lefties are doing it, and 2) he’s the ninth hitter in front of Merrifield.
Record: 57-89 | Box score
Haven’t watched too many games recently. It seemed like Tim was standing more upright in the box than I remember. Any truth to that? It might help him lay off the low pitches over time. Anyways, seeing him have a game like this was great.
Noticed this recently as well, not nearly as crouched down.
Jose Rondon is quickly ascending my favorite current White Sox rankings.
It took Yolmer three years to hit 23 home runs. Rondon has 23 in less than 400 at bats.
I’m guessing he’s made some kind of swing change to go from like zero power to this, right? I haven’t gotten to watch a ton of him, anyone have a feel for his defense yet? He was billed as a defensive specialist, but obviously too early to look at the numbers there. He’s certainly interesting if he can keep some of these gains with the bat.
Yes. It’s obvious the Sox have been playing the wrong middle infielder all year!
Cannot admit they settled for Yoyo in the Sale trade.
Package Yoyo with Avi and a pitcher or two and get an All Star who can hit. Startbwith Trout and work your way down.