DETROIT — Manager Tony La Russa felt good Sunday morning about having Tim Anderson back.
“Happiness,” La Russa said. “In all capital letters.”
Happiness for La Russa, for the White Sox and for Anderson, who had three hits, including the 149th and 150th doubles of his career, and scored two runs in the Sox’ 10-1 victory against the Tigers. Anderson, who hadn’t taken batting practice since Thursday, hit the first pitch he saw this season against left-hander Tarik Skubal.
“I waited two days to swing at the first pitch,” Anderson said. “I spent two days in the hotel watching us play on television, which is pretty boring. I was ready to go as soon as I got something I could hit.”
When La Russa and Anderson crossed paths near the clubhouse after the game, La Russa yelled, “Igniter!” Anderson just smiled.
“He’s the most lit-up, energized player I’ve ever watched,” La Russa said.
“Every day, from the minute he walks into that locker room, he’s got life and commitment, and it’s, ‘Let’s go, let’s go.’ Every practice and every game.
“He’s our igniter.”
The Sox (2-1) went 1-1 while their shortstop, leadoff man and spark plug served a two-game suspension for bumping umpire Tim Timmons late last season in a bench-clearing incident at Comerica Park. Anderson has a .346 average with 26 doubles and 79 runs in 90 career games against the Tigers. His production is first and foremost in terms of value, but the intangibles are notable, as well.
“You see his antics and his energy level, and it’s infectious,” La Russa said. “And it’s all real. He’s not putting on a show and then he disappears. He wants it. He wants to win.
“I don’t think there is a better shortstop in the game.”
10-year anniversary for Harrison
Coach Jerry Narron made an extra lineup card as a keepsake for infielder Josh Harrison, who celebrated his 10-year anniversary in the majors.
“It ain’t kinda cool; it’s definitely cool,” said Harrison, in his first year with the Sox. “Words can’t describe it. To get to 10, it’s a testament to longevity and doing what you need to do. I’ve been blessed. It’s one thing to make it to the big leagues; it’s another to stay.”
A day after getting a double and a triple in a 5-2 victory, Harrison had an RBI infield single and flashed youthful range, making a play to his left to retire Tucker Barnhart.
Harrison, 34, began his career in 2011 with the Pirates. He also has played with the Tigers, Nationals and Athletics. An All-Star with the Pirates in 2014 and ’17, he battled injuries five straight years but had his career high for plate appearances (558) last season.
This and that
The Sox scored in the first inning in their first three games for the fourth time in franchise history, most recently in 2007.
† Catcher Reese McGuire threw out Austin Meadows, who was trying to steal second, in the first inning on a tough pitch, a slider in the dirt to his arm side with a left-handed hitter up. Base stealers were 10-for-10 with Michael Kopech pitching last season.
† Outfield prospect Micker Adolfo cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Charlotte.