NEW YORK – Three takeaways from the Chicago White Sox’s weekend series at Yankee Stadium in which they won two of three against the New York Yankees, including a doubleheader sweep Sunday.
Anderson heard boos when he stepped to the plate during the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader.
The Sox shortstop silenced the crowd in memorable fashion in the eighth inning, connecting for a three-run home run. It served as an exclamation point in a 5-0 victory.
“That speaks huge to the character of Tim and what we’re trying to be in this clubhouse, and that’s a family,” said Sox pitcher Michael Kopech. “That was one of the cooler things I’ve seen, watching an entire crowd that’s showing low class toward him, booing him, calling him ‘Jackie’ and all that stuff, and then hitting a homer and putting us right back in a good position to win.
“Got nothing but respect for him.”
As he headed for home plate, Anderson did a signature move, giving the “shh” signal.
Anderson had three hits a day after words were exchanged with New York Yankees third baseman / designated hitter Josh Donaldson during the third inning Saturday. The benches cleared before Donaldson’s fifth-inning at-bat after he and Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal had a conversation.
MLB on Monday suspended Donaldson one game and fined him an undisclosed amount for calling Anderson “Jackie” – a reference to Jackie Robinson and a 2019 Sports Illustrated story about Anderson – which MLB disciplinarian Michael Hill described as “disrespectful and in poor judgment.”
Sox manager Tony La Russa was surprised by the boos Sunday night but definitely not the results from Anderson, who is slashing .359 / .400 / .517 with five home runs and 18 RBIs.
“Think about the game he had under those circumstances,” La Russa said. “That made it special. But he had that kind of game a lot this year. “
The Sox placed Kopech on the paternity leave list Tuesday. He returned after the birth Friday of his second son, Vander.
“My mind hasn’t been on baseball until (Saturday),” Kopech said.
He added with a laugh, “That probably helped me quite a bit.”
Kopech had an incredible outing in Game 2 of the doubleheader, allowing one hit with six strikeouts and two walks in seven innings. He retired the first 17 batters before Rob Brantly broke up the perfect game with a two-out double in the sixth.
“I was still doing everything that I needed to do back in Chicago, throwing and working out,” Kopech said of his week. “But I was definitely more focused on the baby I had on the way, and he came and he was healthy. And then I got a call that I needed to come back, and I showed up and tried to get refocused. “
Kopech retired the final 13 batters in his May 15 start against the Yankees at Guaranteed Rate Field. Combine that with Sunday, and that’s 30 straight hitters.
“I felt like I got into a rhythm the last time I faced them and I started off in a rhythm today and tried not to lose that,” Kopech said. “I like to face a good team and they’re a great team.”
He lowered his ERA to 1.29 in earning his first win of the season.
“My man just had a baby the other day and I was telling him dad strength got him 10 extra pitches in that game,” Sox outfielder / first baseman Andrew Vaughn said with a laugh. “It was awesome to see that. He’s been throwing the ball so well and we finally got him some runs. “
Kopech capped a tremendous day of pitching for the Sox.
Johnny Cueto started it off in Game 1, allowing six hits in six-plus scoreless innings. Joe Kelly entered with two runners on and no outs in the seventh and worked out of the jam without allowing a run. Kendall Graveman bounced back after surrendering a solo homer to Aaron Judge, giving the Sox a chance to win before Hendriks closed out the Game 1 win with two strikeouts in a perfect ninth.
The Sox loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth inning in the second game of the doubleheader.
Two force plays at the plate and a strikeout later, they came up empty.
But they finally broke loose in the eighth.
“I was looking at the scoreboard. I said, ‘We’ve got eight hits, let’s do something right here,’ “Vaughn said. “And then some good things happened.”
The Sox scored five runs on five hits. The runs, RBI singles by Vaughn and Reese McGuire and Anderson’s three-run homer, all came with two outs.
The Sox also had clutch hits late in the first game of the doubleheader, with AJ Pollock breaking a tie in the ninth with a solo home run and Adam Engel driving in Vaughn with a double.
The Sox know they have to work with runners in scoring position. They are 11th in the American League with a .227 average in that category (73-for-322).
They went 3-for-13 in that department Saturday and 2-for-8 in Game 1 of Sunday’s doubleheader. They were 4-for-15 in Game 2, with the eighth-inning breakthrough leading the way, helping the Sox finish 5-3 on their two-city trip.
“It’s one of those things you can laugh about later, all the opportunities that we had,” La Russa said. “We’re going to work on that man-on-third (situation). We’ll get better. And then to explode like that (in the eighth), this game you can never figure it out. “