ATLANTA — A bad baserunning decision took some of the glow off an otherwise excellent day offensively, but Tim Anderson picked up in September where he left off with the bat in August with a double, single and walk in four plate appearances in the White Sox’ 5-3 loss to the Braves on Sunday.
Anderson (44 hits) and Jose Abreu (42) ranked first and second in the American League in August, and Anderson, the high ankle sprain that sidelined him for much of July well behind him, is enjoying batting second on a regular basis.
“I’m past that [recovery period from the injury],” Anderson said before the game. “I’m back to where I was. Even when I was hurt, I was locked in and still working on my swing. Now I’m trying to run to the finish line. My ultimate goal is to finish strong.”
This was Anderson’s 46th game batting second and the 10th time in the last 11 games.
“I like it,” Anderson said. “I’m getting more at-bats, and I get a chance to start something off early, get the game going.”
With the Sox trailing 4-3 after Jose Abreu’s RBI single in the seventh, Anderson tried to get something going by taking a little-to-gain, much-to-lose chance trying to steal third with two outs. Already in scoring position, he was thrown out by Braves catcher Brian McCann with cleanup hitter Yoan Moncada batting.
“In talking to him, you’re already in scoring position,” manager Rick Renteria said.
“But I’m sure he understands moving forward in that situation how to handle it. If you’re trying to steal third, you got to be 100 percent. You’re already the potential tying run.”
With his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a three-hour drive away, Anderson had a large contingent of his family, his wife’s family and friends watching him at SunTrust Park this weekend.
“To go out and play in front of my family and friends is dope, man,” Anderson said. “It’s kind of rare that we play close to them.”
Rare indeed. This was the first time the Sox have played in Atlanta since 2012.
Banuelos, Fulmer join the force
Left-hander Manny Banuelos and right-hander Carson Fulmer returned from injury-rehabilitation assignments at Class AAA Charlotte on the first day to expand rosters.
Banuelos (shoulder inflammation), who was on the 60-day injured list, hadn’t pitched since June 16. Fulmer strained his right hamstring running out a ground ball against the Phillies on Aug. 2.
In 14 appearances this season, Fulmer (1-1) has a 5.30 ERA with 20 strikeouts and 15 walks in 18‰ innings. Banuelos, who was on the Opening Day roster and made eight starts, is 3-4 with a 6.90 ERA.
Yo, drink plenty of fluids
Moncada just missed three weeks in August with a strained right hamstring, so it was an “oh, no, Yoyo” moment when assistant trainer James Kruk and Renteria went out to check on him Saturday night. But Moncada stayed in the game and was in the lineup Sunday.
“When I ran to first base, it tightened up a little bit,” Moncada said. “It was nothing serious.”
It was another reminder to hydrate, especially in warm-weather climates.
“I’ve been taking care of hydration even though I’m not a person who likes to drink a lot of water,” Moncada said. “But I’ve been better in that aspect.”