KANSAS CITY -- Tim Anderson's two-run home run with two out in the 12th inning gave the White Sox a 4-2 victory over the Royals in the series finale on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium, ending the team's seven-game losing streak.And it wasn't even the absolute best play the White
KANSAS CITY -- Tim Anderson's two-run home run with two out in the 12th inning gave the White Sox a 4-2 victory over the Royals in the series finale on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium, ending the team's seven-game losing streak.
And it wasn't even the absolute best play the White Sox shortstop turned in during that frame, as Anderson ranged onto the outfield grass to snare a Whit Merrifield grounder and fired to first to get the Royals second baseman by a step and end the game.
"How about the last play he made to end the game? Ball in the hole, helluva throw. Strong armed it," White Sox starter Carlos Rodon said. "The kid does it all. You don't want to miss an at-bat or ball hit to him because something special is going to happen."
"To finish the game with that one, definitely had to get it out quick with a fast runner," Anderson said.
Adam Engel, who also tripled and picked up his 16th stolen base, reached with a one-out single in the 12th. One out later, Anderson connected off Royals right-hander Burch Smith for his 19th home run and his 61st and 62nd RBIs.
With 26 stolen bases, Anderson certainly is thinking of a 20-20 season.
"Now that I'm [one homer] away, yeah," Anderson said. "It would be a big accomplishment for me. Definitely something great. I'm excited to be able to chase that."
Rodon walked the leadoff hitter three times on Wednesday. But even without his best control, the lefty limited damage as most top-of-the-rotation hurlers are able to do. Rodon walked five in total over six innings, throwing 57 of his 103 pitches for strikes, but the Royals managed two runs. He also fanned five.
"Command wasn't great today but [catcher Omar Narvaez] and I had to grind it out," Rodon said. "The defense turned some nice double plays, I got through six and the boys got the win."
Kansas City grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third, but Jose Rondon quickly erased that advantage with a two-run shot off Royals starter Eric Skoglund in the fourth. His two-out drive to left scored Avisail Garcia, who walked in front of him, giving Rondon five home runs and 13 RBIs.
Raul Mondesi, who had four hits and two RBIs, tied the game in the fifth with a single to score Merrifield. The future White Sox bullpen was on display, as six young relievers combined to cover five scoreless innings, although Jose Ruiz walked the only batter he faced. Ian Hamilton and Jace Fry threw one scoreless inning apiece, while Caleb Frare struck out two during his two-thirds of an inning.
Juan Minaya hurled two scoreless, but he received help from pinch-runner Brett Phillips to escape the 11th. With runners on second and third and one out, Rosell Herrera hit a line drive to Anderson who made a slight leap to make the catch. Phillips already was half-way down the line on an apparent contact play and he was easily doubled up.
"I guess he didn't think I could jump a little bit," Anderson said. "It was a good play to get us out of that jam.
"It's always good to come away with a win. Pitching did a heck of a job. They kept us in the ballgame and we battled. We were able to scratch out a win."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The old 5-4: Kansas City scored one in the third off Rodon, but it could have been worse after he walked Brian Goodwin and Ryan O'Hearn to start he frame. Merrifield followed with a grounder to Rondon at third, who adeptly stepped on the base and fired to second for the second out.
Nearly a Bummer: Mondesi's speed and a slow toss by reliever Aaron Bummer allowed the Royals to load the bases with two out in the seventh when Mondesi beat that toss to first for an infield single. But Bummer, noticeably upset after the poor throw to first, composed himself and retired Alex Gordon on a grounder to first baseman Jose Abreu to end the inning.
Rodon has recorded a strikeout in each of his 83 career appearances, the fourth-longest streak by a White Sox pitcher to begin his career. He trails only Jose Contreras (148), Freddy Garcia (98) and Javier Vazquez (98).
HE SAID IT
"Let's shoot for the stars. Why not." -- Anderson, on whether he thinks he can become a 30 home run, 30 stolen base player in the same season
After an off-day on Thursday, White Sox right-hander James Shields (6-16, 4.58) will make his 32nd appearance and 31st start of the season at 6:05 p.m. CT on Friday against the Orioles at Camden Yards. This will be Shields' 13th start on the road and second start against the O's. He has worked at least six innings in 23 of his 30 starts this season, but the veteran is 0-8 with a 5.88 ERA over his last 12 road appearances (11 starts). He earned his last road win on Opening Day (March 29) against the Royals.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.