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Can’t say he didn’t warn them: Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu provide spark, pop for White Sox

Homers by Adam Engel, Abreu and Yasmani Grandal, three hits by Anderson and Lucas Giolito’s gem carry the White Sox.

White Sox’s Lucas Giolito, clockwise from top left, celebrates with James McCann, Jose Abreu, Alex Colome, Nick Madrigal and Yoan Moncada (10) after the White Sox defeated the Oakland Athletics in Game 1 on Tuesday.
White Sox’s Lucas Giolito, clockwise from top left, celebrates with James McCann, Jose Abreu, Alex Colome, Nick Madrigal and Yoan Moncada (10) after the White Sox defeated the Oakland Athletics in Game 1 on Tuesday.
Eric Risberg/AP

It started with a base hit by leadoff man Tim Anderson, the White Sox’ self-described ‘‘energizer bunny’’ and the one ‘‘who starts the party’’ — albeit in a scoreless first inning with a couple of other good at-bats.

It got off the ground and over the wall with a home run by Adam Engel against Athletics left-hander Jesus Luzardo for the first run in the second.

It escalated with a two-run homer by Jose Abreu in the third, padding an early lead, then right-hander Lucas Giolito took over from there, taking a perfect game into the seventh.

For some icing on the Sox’ first bite of postseason cake in 12 years, Yasmani Grandal homered in the eighth and Alex Colome pitched a perfect ninth to finish off a 4-1 victory against the A’s in Game 1 of their wild-card series at the Oakland Coliseum.

The Sox, who entered the 16-team postseason after losing nine of their last 12 regular-season games, couldn’t have concocted a better formula for putting a troublesome recent past behind them and starting fresh.

Dominant starting pitching, three homers and sound defense — which center fielder Luis Robert, third baseman Yoan Moncada and Anderson helped provide — will win almost every time.

‘‘We came ready to play on both sides of the field,’’ said Giolito, who finished with seven-plus innings of one-run ball.

On Monday, Anderson had said that the A’s ‘‘hadn’t done their homework’’ by starting a lefty, against whom the Sox were a remarkable 14-0 during the regular season. The comment made its way to the A’s clubhouse, so Anderson had to back up the swagger with results.

Anderson, who had cooled off with three hits and 14 strikeouts in his last 33 at-bats of the regular season, went 3-for-4, including a double, and scored on Abreu’s homer.

‘‘We did our homework,’’ Anderson said, keeping the pot stirred. ‘‘We were able to get to [Luzardo] early.’’

Talking is one thing, but producing is what matters, and there was a correlation between the Sox’ late-season swoon and Anderson’s slump.

‘‘When Timmy goes, we go,’’ manager Rick Renteria said. ‘‘Everybody feels that way. And then you’ve got another big boy in Pito [Abreu]. When that line starts to move, you have a lot of good things happen throughout the line in the batting order.’’

Abreu was moving it in his first playoff game after a regular season that might garner him an AL Most Valuable Player award, craftily pushing a single to right field in the first and hammering a 2-0 fastball with first base open out of the park in left in the third.

‘‘The most consistent hitter there is,’’ Anderson said of Abreu. “He got a pitch and he was able to drive it out of the ballpark. That shows the type of hitter he is. He waited him out and was able to get a pitch he could handle. And it’s 3-0 right there.”

Before the game, Game 2 starter Dallas Keuchel and Renteria said the Sox had a calm, relaxed way about them. That’s worth noting for a team with only five players who have postseason experience.

‘‘Yeah, definitely,’’ Anderson said. ‘‘Everybody was ready to go this morning. A lot of guys were outside early, just enjoying the weather. Outside throwing the football, as well. Just treating it like any other day. The more relaxed we are, [it] gives us a better chance to get a win. And we were able to go out and do it.’’

The A’s, the No. 2 seed in the AL, now have lost their last six postseason games and are faced with the prospect of bowing out Wednesday to the No. 7 seed Sox on their home field in the unusual best-of-three series.

‘‘We’ll bounce back,’’ said A’s right-hander J.B. Wendelken, a former Sox prospect. ‘‘There’s never a doubt in my mind.’’

Right-hander Chris Bassitt, the AL Pitcher of the Month for September, will start against Keuchel, so the A’s know they are far from done.

‘‘I know Bassitt is going to dominate tomorrow, and hitters are going to hit,’’ Luzardo said.

But the Sox know they can win their first postseason series since capturing the 2005 World Series.

‘‘This is something we’ve been waiting for for a while now,’’ Engel said. ‘‘We’ve got a lot of guys that lost 100 games a couple of years ago.’’