The pain started to become unbearable for White Sox manager Rick Renteria.
A torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder prevented him from sleeping well at night. Small movements and seemingly ordinary tasks such as shaking hands caused more pain to shoot through his body.
“He was trying to wait to [have surgery] until the offseason,” said bench coach Joe McEwing, who managed in Renteria’s place Friday night against the Angels. “We told him, ‘Get it done. Don’t go through the pain. Get it done now. We got you.’ ”
Renteria did his part. The Sox tried to do theirs.
Tim Anderson belted a towering two-run homer, Jose Abreu matched his career high with his 107th RBI of the season, and Lucas Giolito pitched like an ace yet again as the Sox opened a three-game series. But the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead for Giolito, as Aaron Bummer surrendered a game-tying, two-run homer to Brian Goodwin in the eighth, setting up a 5-4 loss after Justin Upton’s solo homer off Alex Colome (4-3) in the top of the ninth.
Goodwin was an injury replacement for Mike Trout, who left the game in the fifth because of discomfort in one of his toes. His status is day-to-day.
Renteria, who underwent his surgery earlier Friday, will miss the rest of the weekend series and hopes to rejoin the team for Tuesday’s series opener against the Royals.
The Sox seemed to be in capable hands with McEwing, the former big-league infielder known as “Super Joe” during his playing days with the Cardinals, Mets, Royals and Astros. It was only appropriate that two players with whom he works especially closely, Anderson and Yoan Moncada, enjoyed strong games on a night with him in charge.
Anderson singled and scored in the first before clobbering his 16th homer in the fifth. He stood near home plate and admired the view for several seconds as the ball sailed beyond the wall and landed deep in the Sox bullpen.
Anderson entered the night with a .332 batting average, which led the American League. He’s trying to join Sox legends Frank Thomas (1997) and Luke Appling (1936, 1943) as the only players in franchise history to lead the league in hitting.
“It would put a feather in his cap, the organization’s cap, from scouting and player development to our staff as well, of continuing to see the maturity throughout the years,” McEwing said. “It’s so impressive to see what he’s gone through on a daily basis and the adjustments he makes throughout the season, from the beginning of spring training until now, and the understanding of what pitchers are trying to do to him now.”
Anderson also showed off his athleticism in the field at shortstop with an off-balance catch in the sixth.
Meanwhile, Moncada singled in his first at-bat and came around to score. He doubled in his next at-bat.
Have Anderson and Yoan Moncada surpassed coaches’ expectations?
“If coming into the season, in the moment, I had said ‘Do you think T.A. will be hitting .330 in September?’, what would your answer have been?” McEwing said. “So they’re exceeding — and we don’t want to put a limit on it.”
Giolito missed out on his 15th victory despite a strong performance. He allowed two runs and three hits in seven innings and climbed to eighth place in Sox history with 216 strikeouts on the season.
McEwing downplayed his role as fill-in manager for Renteria.
“I wish he was here,” McEwing said. “We miss him. He’s our leader. But we’re all in this together. It’s not about me — it’s about us.”