Shortstop scores go-ahead run in ninth inning after stealing 3rd
By Robert Falkoff
Special to MLB.com |
KANSAS CITY -- White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson went 2-for-5 at the plate, but that wasn't the best part of his day on Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium as Chicago slipped past Kansas City, 5-3, to take two of three and win a road series for the first time since June 16-18.
It was Anderson's gutsy steal of third in the ninth inning that set up the go-ahead sacrifice fly by Jose Abreu. And then there was Anderson's pristine defense in the first inning -- a leaping grab of Salvador Perez's liner that took away a run and a perfect throw home that got Whit Merrifield on a double-steal attempt. Put all that together, and it was Anderson looming large as the White Sox ended their road-series drought.
After the Royals scored twice in the eighth to pull into a tie at 3, Anderson produced a one-out single in the ninth and went to second on a wild pitch. On what turned out to be ball four to Yoan Moncada, Anderson stole third after noting reliever Scott Alexander's slow delivery.
The steal of third paid off when Abreu delivered his sacrifice fly to center.
"I just felt like I could get a good jump," Anderson said. "It was a big steal, and Abreu did a great job of scoring me with the sacrifice fly. I was 100 percent [sure] that I could make it. I had some pitches before that, and I was able to get a feel for his delivery and time it well."
White Sox starter Lucas Giolito had command issues in the first, but Anderson helped bail him out. After Merrifield led off with a walk and stole second, Lorenzo Cain singled to center, setting up a first-and-third situation. Cain then stole second and catcher Kevan Smith threw to Anderson, who was covering. When Merrifield broke from third on the double steal, Anderson made an accurate throw to nip Merrifield at the plate and help Giolito get out of the inning unscathed.
"It was just reaction," Anderson said. "I got a good throw from Smitty and I saw [Merrifield] breaking for home out of the corner of my eye. I was able to throw it back home in a good spot."
For Anderson and all of the White Sox, it felt especially good to take a road series from a Royals club that's still battling for an American League Wild Card spot.
"We played some pretty good baseball this series," Anderson said. "Now we've just got to carry it on to Detroit with us."
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City who covered the White Sox on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.