Anderson's surge continues with leadoff homer

August 16th, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- With the kind of season Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood is having, White Sox shortstop figured he'd try to catch him by surprise in Tuesday's series opener.

Anderson was able to do just that by sending the first pitch of the game a Statcast™-projected 409 feet into the left-field seats at Dodger Stadium for his fourth career leadoff homer.

"They always try to sneak that first one by the beginning of the game," Anderson said after the White Sox 6-1 loss. "They always think the hitter is going to take it, but I was ready for it."

Anderson's home run was just the seventh hit off Wood this year in 117 1/3 innings. It was also Anderson's fifth homer in his last nine games. He's batted .316 with nine runs, three doubles and 10 RBIs in that span as well.

What's been the difference?

"Hitting strikes, hitting pitches he can handle," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "It's no secret. I think you take balls and you hit strikes, and that's what he's been doing. He's been working on trying to hone in on more hittable zones. But that just comes with time.

"He's gaining experience, gaining knowledge. A lot of our kids our still doing that. They're gaining knowledge and figuring out what they can and can't do."

Anderson, the 17th overall pick of the 2013 Draft, added to his career high with his 14th homer of the season. The 24-year-old belted nine homers in 99 games last year as a rookie.

He credited a more laid-back approach for the recent power surge.

"It's really just relaxing and having fun," Anderson said. "I go back to last year where I came up and played and had fun with it, try not to do too much. It's really just relaxing and locking in."

Anderson's leadoff homer was the lone run the White Sox were able to muster against Wood and the Dodgers bullpen.

"He just went out there and was looking for a ball over the plate and took advantage of it, but then I thought [Wood] started making adjustments, going in and off the plate," Renteria said. "Our guys did a really nice job, and some of our relief was able to keep them at bay, but we just fell short."