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Anderson's 2 HRs not enough as White Sox fall

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Mired in a 1-for-19 slump heading into Saturday, Tim Anderson broke out in a big way.

The young shortstop connected for his first two home runs at Guaranteed Rate Field this season, and his fifth and sixth long balls overall. Though Anderson's homers came too late for the White Sox to mount a comeback in an 8-4 loss to the Twins, Saturday seemed a natural progression, given Anderson's career-high contact rate.

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CHICAGO -- Mired in a 1-for-19 slump heading into Saturday, Tim Anderson broke out in a big way.

The young shortstop connected for his first two home runs at Guaranteed Rate Field this season, and his fifth and sixth long balls overall. Though Anderson's homers came too late for the White Sox to mount a comeback in an 8-4 loss to the Twins, Saturday seemed a natural progression, given Anderson's career-high contact rate.

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"I'm seeing the ball," Anderson said. "I'm locking in, seeing what these pitchers are trying to do to me and taking some ABs from last year [that are] definitely helping me this year. I'm seeing the ball real well."

Video: MIN@CWS: Tim Anderson discusses his 2 late home runs

The at-bats that gave Anderson trouble last year likely would have carried over into following games. For example, Anderson struck out four times Thursday, a result that would have prolonged a slump in 2017.

But this time, Anderson, in his own words, refused to get inside his own head.

"I probably would have been down on myself," Anderson said. "It's baseball. You got to learn from it. I learned a lot from it last year. It's just a game. I just go out and have fun and when it's not going well, just continue to go."

Anderson's continued development has impressed manager Rick Renteria as the White Sox continue their rebuild. Though he won't hit two home runs every night, Renteria said, Anderson is "doing everything he can" to develop into a quality player.

"He continues to show you a lot of growth, a lot more maturity," Renteria said. "He's accepting each at-bat for what it is, each one is independent of each other and he continues to roll and continues to make the adjustments he needs to give himself a chance."

Video: MIN@CWS: Renteria on loss to Twins, Anderson's growth

Though Miguel Gonzalez treated the White Sox to a stellar mariachi singing performance prior to Saturday night's game, he remained sidelined with a shoulder injury and is unable to treat the team to some innings.

The White Sox have now had to fill in for three of Gonzalez's starts, opting to piggyback relievers Chris Volstad and Hector Santiago. Both pitched well in their respective first starts, but when Santiago's turn came around again Saturday, he stumbled out of the gate.

Five of the first six Twins hitters reached base against the lefty, with three coming around to score. That prompted two first-inning mound visits, including one from pitching coach Don Cooper, giving Santiago time to breathe. He retired the next two batters to end the inning.

"I pulled a lot of fastballs, which is weird for me because usually if I miss then I'm missing up and away or up and in to a lefty," Santiago said. "So little different kind of scenario there, I was trying to figure out which way to go, trying to make that adjustment, and I just never figured that out."

Video: MIN@CWS: Santiago K's LaMarre to end the top 3rd

But Santiago's struggles continued in the third, when he gave up RBI extra-base hits to Eddie Rosario and Ehire Adrianza to put Chicago in a 6-1 hole. Santiago exited in the fourth and was charged with eight runs, including two that scored after Volstad replaced him. Rosario finished the night with a career-high-tying five RBIs.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Double trouble: After the Twins ambushed Santiago, opposing starter Lance Lynn nearly gave the lead right back to the White Sox. Chicago's two-through-five hitters all reached base in the bottom of the first, presenting a bases-loaded situation for Daniel Palka. However, Palka grounded into an inning-ending double play, despite notching an exit velocity of 103.8 mph, per Statcast™. Lynn looked energized following that play, and settled in after that, retiring nine of the next 10 White Sox hitters.

HE SAID IT
"That was another of the at-bats we were talking about. Extremely impressive. As a matter of fact, I think when Timmy hit the homer in his at-bat, we talked about how that probably led to him getting a good pitch to hit. You ground him down for 12 pitches, most people think you're in the ninth inning, you're down by 5 or whatever, and nobody cares. Yeah, they care." -- Renteria, on Jose Rondon's 12-pitch at-bat right before Anderson's second home run of the night

UP NEXT
James Shields takes the mound for the finale vs. the Twins at 1:10 p.m. CT on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field. Shields enjoyed one of his best starts of the season last time out in St. Louis, giving up just one run on two hits in six innings. Minnesota counters with Kyle Gibson, who is off to a solid start leading the rotation in ERA at 3.38.

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com.

Chicago White Sox, Tim Anderson, Hector Santiago