BALTIMORE — White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson could have appealed his one-game suspension for using a word deemed too unsavory for a major-league playing field. But he is having such a great start to the season that he didn’t want to do anything to distract from it.
‘‘I would just rather flush it and keep going,’’ Anderson said Monday. ‘‘I have too many positive things going on to be worried about that one thing for how long? Because it would have dragged on for another week or two if I
appealed. I just didn’t want to go through that process. Instead, I sat out [Friday against the Tigers], took my one game, took some rest and came back. It’s flushed.’’
Anderson was suspended and fined by Major League Baseball for his conduct in the melee that ensued after he was hit by a pitch in a game Wednesday against the Royals. His bat flip after he hit a home run earlier in the game started it all, but he was ejected by umpire Joe West and reprimanded by MLB for using the N-word, although the commissioner’s office didn’t specify the reason.
But Anderson’s choice of words in the heat of the moment is what prompted the discipline. Anderson is African American, and Royals pitcher Brad Keller, who hit him with the pitch, is white.
As Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman — who is also African American — said, Anderson was using ‘‘normal slang trash talk in our culture.’’ Anderson agreed and said he was not out of line.
‘‘People don’t know what we go through as black men,’’ he told the Sun-Times before the Sox’ 12-2 rout of the Orioles. ‘‘And they don’t know exactly where we come from being a black man and the culture of being a black man. What I said was one of those things that happens when black men get mad. When we’re angry, that’s like the go-to word. That lets them know that this guy is serious. It’s a culture thing. I didn’t mean anything by it, but that’s just in my language.’’
An appeal could have broadened the discussion by forcing MLB to explain its actions, but Anderson said he was concerned letting it simmer would affect the hot start he’s having. He ranks among the American League leaders in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage and leads the league with nine stolen bases in nine attempts. After going 1-for-5 with two runs scored against the Orioles, Anderson is batting .403.
‘‘I don’t worry about it, and I want to move on,’’ he said. ‘‘I didn’t want to deal with it anymore. I don’t want to talk about it no more.’’
On a night in which the Sox notched season highs in runs and hits (15), Anderson got it all started with a double leading off a four-run fifth inning. He advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a three-run homer by James McCann that gave the Sox a 3-0 lead. The Sox also scored four in the seventh and four in the eighth.
Jose Abreu had three hits — including his fourth homer of the season and the 150th of his career — and drove in five runs, and Yolmer Sanchez and McCann also had three hits. The cleanest inning from an Orioles pitcher came from catcher Jesus Sucre, who lobbed his pitches in quick fashion in the ninth and retired Leury Garcia, Yoan Moncada and Abreu in order.
‘‘We proved today we can score runs,’’ Abreu said through a translator. ‘‘We know we have talent, and we can do some damage. And that talent comes from a good mix of veterans and kids.’’
Left-hander Manny Banuelos, who was making his first start since 2015 with the Braves, pitched four scoreless innings for the Sox. Ryan Burr, Jace Fry, Carson Fulmer and Josh Osich combined for five innings of two-run relief.