The exciting win, which saw Kansas City rally from a 7-1 deficit to eventually tie the game off Kelvin Herrera in the top of the eighth, doesn’t take away the strong feelings held by the Chicago shortstop toward his American League Central rivals.
“From my end, I don’t like the Royals. I don’t like them,” said a somewhat subdued Anderson after the White Sox improved to 26-29. “It’s going to be forever a beef from me.
“That gets me going. I’m excited to play them. I want to whoop them every time we play them.”
Why doesn’t Anderson like the Royals? He kept the reasoning general.
“Just period, man,” he said. “I don’t like them.”
So, let’s use some history from 2019 to explain his feelings.
With Eloy Jiménez on first and none out in the second inning on Wednesday, Royals starter Glenn Sparkman threw a 1-0 changeup to Anderson, which hit him on the bill of the helmet. Home-plate umpire Mark Carlson immediately ejected Sparkman, as Anderson stayed calm, but a bit shaken at home plate.
This ejection was rooted more in a game on April 17, when Anderson hit a home run in the fourth inning off Brad Keller and celebrated with a pronounced bat flip. Keller hit Anderson in the backside with the first pitch of the sixth inning, leading both Keller and Anderson to be among those ejected following a benches and bullpen clearing on-field incident.
Carlson told a pool reporter postgame on Wednesday that the umpires knew of the previous situation between the two teams involving Anderson, and when Sparkman threw the ball up and in and hit Anderson in the head, it raised their awareness and they had to make a decision on how to handle the situation. Everyone, including Anderson, believed the pitch was an accident.
“That’s up for the league to determine,” Carlson said. “I handled the situation in the moment the way I thought it needed to be handled.”
“I saw it on his face. He was looking scared,” Anderson said. “It was a changeup that got away from him. It was just a tough moment for me, but I was able to control myself and stay in the game.”
In the deciding eighth, Anderson took a first-pitch fastball from Kennedy and laced the ensuing slider past third baseman Hunter Dozier. Anderson was looking slider in during that at-bat.
“He was just doing his job for the game,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “I don’t think it was payback.”
“It’s good. I’m glad we [swept] them,” Anderson said. “But now we have to keep going, keep moving on.”
Garcia flashes some leather
Not to be overlooked in this victory was Leury Garcia’s play in center. He singled three times, scored two runs and made three standout plays to save runs.
Garcia’s top effort of the night came with one out in the fourth when he covered 97 feet, according to Statcast, in racing back to the center field wall and then jumped over the fence to take away a homer from Jorge Soler. Garcia also made a diving catch of an Adalberto Mondesi line drive with one out and Whit Merrifield on second in the fifth to prevent Kansas City from scoring and got a good jump in the ninth to grab a Dozier fly ball to right-center, turning a potential first-and-third, one-out situation into the inning’s second out.
“He's looking very, very good in the outfield, in center field,” said White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez, who allowed five runs on 12 hits over 118 pitches covering 5 2/3 innings, through interpreter Billy Russo. “He's covering a lot of ground.”