White Sox, Tim Anderson are a tossed cause against Athletics
Anderson could be facing a possible suspension for his actions after getting ejected for arguing a strike in the seventh inning of the 7-3 loss.
If suffering a 7-3 loss to the Athletics wasn’t frustrating enough Friday night for the White Sox, the potential loss of All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson could hurt their chances of catching the American League Central-leading Twins.
Anderson was ejected by plate umpire Nick Mahrley after arguing a strike call in the seventh inning, then he stepped toward Mahrley, and the bill of his helmet made contact with Mahrley’s cap.
Manager Tony La Russa continued the argument with Mahrley and also was ejected but believed that Anderson wasn’t allowed to express his displeasure with the call. Anderson could face a suspension.
Anderson, through a member of the media-relations department, declined to talk. But La Russa was more forthcoming in his defense of Anderson.
“I think you need to allow players to spark as long as they don’t cross a line,” La Russa said. “And that thing escalated before Tim did anything. He’s fired up. That’s the way he plays. That’s the way you’re supposed to play.”
La Russa said he didn’t see Anderson make contact with Mahrley.
“I think I saw the umpire moving forward quite a bit, which they’re taught not to do,” La Russa said. “I didn’t see any contact that I know. Umpires aren’t robots, either. They can get emotional, and they can get upset.
“But they’re supposed to be the cooler head. Because if you try to take the emotion out of the game, it’s not entertaining.”
Anderson’s ejection occurred shortly after Josh Harrison hit a two-run home run to cut the Sox’ deficit to 5-3. A’s starter James Kaprielian had retired 11 consecutive batters and 13 of 14 after Jose Abreu hit an RBI single with two outs in the first.
Kaprielian had a 1.93 ERA and held opponents to a .182 batting average in five starts in July.
Sox starter Lance Lynn struck out eight and walked none but was victimized by three home runs.
A dropped throw by Abreu at first to start the second inning set up a three-run homer by Stephen Piscotty. Lynn retired the next 10 batters and 13 of the next 14, but home runs by Seth Brown and Elvis Andrus in the sixth inning knocked him out.
“You take some positives from it, but when it’s all said and done, I’ve got to keep the ball in the ballpark,” Lynn said.
Running down a dream
The Sox’ baserunning blunders reached a new low Wednesday when Leury Garcia was picked off third base after a walk and Abreu was doubled off second base. But La Russa wants his players to remain aggressive on the basepaths with some discretion.
“You can take a one-step lead, and you don’t get doubled off and you don’t take extra bases,” La Russa said before the game. “So we’ve made some mistakes where we’re not smart. But most of the mistakes we’ve made have come from aggressiveness. And what you do, you just coach it up. You find out why that was a mistake.
“But you don’t take aggressiveness out of the team.”