The Chicago White Sox have lost three straight in the absence of leadoff hitter Tim Anderson, and they are not certain if he will be available Tuesday night against the host Toronto Blue Jays.
Chicago dropped a 2-1 decision at Toronto on Monday when the winning run scored on Craig Kimbrel’s eighth-inning wild pitch. It was obvious they missed their shortstop and offensive spark plug during the opener of a four-game series.
Anderson has been resting sore legs since leading the White Sox to a 7-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.
“He got some good work today,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said before the game Monday. “Just don’t feel confident playing him today.”
La Russa said Anderson might not play Tuesday, either.
The White Sox lead the American League Central by nine games over the Cleveland Indians, but La Russa said that did not influence the decision on Anderson.
“If this was a one- or two-game lead and it’s Aug. (23), he would not play today and he probably would not play tomorrow,” La Russa said. “Now, if it’s Sept. 22, there would be a question. But his legs are such an important part of his defense, baserunning, everything else, that what do you gain by sending him out there and telling him to be careful?
“The direct answer is the lead has nothing to do with him not playing because we’re into winning as many as we can as quickly as we can and have too much respect for the game and our opponents we are playing and the ones that are chasing us.”
Toronto will start right-hander Jose Berrios (8-6, 3.52 ERA) on Tuesday. Obtained from the Minnesota Twins last month, he has faced the White Sox three times this season, going 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA. In 20 career starts against the White Sox, he is 12-4 with a 2.91 ERA.
Chicago will start right-hander Dylan Cease (9-6, 4.06 ERA). This will be his first start against Toronto.
The Blue Jays needed the win on Monday after they lost extra-inning games to the Detroit Tigers on Friday and Sunday.
Toronto also is without its leadoff man, George Springer. The center fielder has been sidelined since Aug. 15 due to a sprained left knee.
He took some batting practice against reliever Joakim Soria, who is rehabilitating from inflammation in his middle finger.
“(Springer) feels really good, which is a great sign,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “You can see the smile. He’s going to be day-to-day, which is great that we’ve got to the spot where he feels that good.”
Springer has been limited to 49 games this season. He also has had oblique and quadriceps injuries.
“We’ve done OK without him before, but we do really well with him in the lineup; that’s a fact,” Montoyo said. “The sooner he can get to our lineup, it’ll be great. … So everybody’s watching. Everybody’s hoping he gets healthy.”
The Blue Jays recalled outfielder Josh Palacios from Triple-A Buffalo on Monday and optioned left-hander Kirby Snead to Buffalo. Right-hander Elvis Luciano was released.
Two White Sox players extended their hitting streaks Monday. Eloy Jimenez singled in the fourth inning to increase his hit streak to 12 games. Yoan Moncada was 2-for-4 and has a 10-game streak.
–Field Level Media