Tim Anderson misses second straight start, White Sox lose second straight game

“His legs are still barking,” manager Tony La Russa said. “We don’t want to push him. If it was October he’d be in there.”

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Shortstop Tim Anderson was out of the White Sox lineup for a second consecutive day Sunday with leg soreness.

He was missed.

Without their leadoff man and spark plug, the Sox lost for the second time in two games after Anderson had carried them to a riveting victory Friday night. The 9-0 loss Sunday followed an 8-4 loss Saturday and gave the series to the Rays, making them 3-3 against the Sox in a matchup of division leaders.

Anderson came away from Friday’s game with sore legs and needed not one but two days to recover.

“His legs are still barking,” manager Tony La Russa said. “We don’t want to push him. If it was October he’d be in there. It’s more preventative, get rid of some of that fatigue and soreness. Hopefully have him in there [Monday].”

La Russa said Anderson is dealing with normal wear and tear. “He’s not hurt, he’s just sore,” he said.

Cesar Hernandez, taking Anderson’s leadoff spot, was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Danny Mendick started at shortstop for the second straight game and had two of the Sox’ seven hits against five pitchers. Rays starter Chris Archer struck out four in two innings before leaving with a sore hip.

On Friday, Anderson hit a tying home run in the ninth inning, then drove in the go-ahead run with a single and scored another run in the Sox’ 7-5 win. He also scored from first on a double and sprinted home from third on two groundouts.

“We talked to the trainer last night and said let’s just give him another day,” La Russa said.

Grandal won’t return on road trip

Catcher Yasmani Grandal’s rehab assignment at Triple-A Charlotte will be extended through at least the road trip, which ends Thursday in Toronto.

Because it’s a knee injury and because of the taxing nature of his position, Grandal ‘‘may need extra time to get ready, as opposed to a position player, because he’s got that double duty,” La Russa said.

La Russa wouldn’t commit to a return in the home series against the Cubs next weekend “or Monday afterwards.”

“Mentally he’s going to be ready, but physically you cannot push him,” La Russa said. “It would be a big mistake to set him back once he got here. We have to be able to say, ‘He’s ready to go, and when he comes, he stays.’ ”

‘Tough day for everybody’

Reynaldo Lopez, making his last start before his expected return to the bullpen next week, allowed three runs in four innings, all after two outs. He struck out four and walked none.

“It was a tough day for everybody,” Lopez (1.86 ERA) said. “It was a weird day. A lot of bloopers. A lot of bad breaks for us. That happens, we have to just move on.”

The 22 runs allowed by the Sox were the most they’ve allowed in a three-game series.

This and that

Eloy Jimenez extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

† Outfielder Adam Engel (left shoulder inflammation) won’t return from the IL on the road trip, La Russa said.

† Right-hander Evan Marshall (elbow) was slated to pitch a simulated game for Charlotte, a precursor to some game action before he returns to the Sox.

† Rays designated hitter Nelson Cruz was put on the COVID-19 IL before the game.

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