Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson is a career .284 hitter who is batting .300 or better against 10 teams.
The Pittsburgh Pirates might have been the 11th club against which Anderson boasts that distinction, but he won’t have the chance to try to bolster his .297 career mark vs. the Bucs this week.
With Chicago holding a 10-game lead atop the American League Central division entering the final month of the season, the White Sox are resting their leadoff man this week. Anderson, who continues to contend with hamstring soreness, missed a 4-2 home win over the Pirates on Tuesday and is expected to be held out Wednesday as the abbreviated interleague series concludes in Chicago.
“His legs are such an important part of defense and offense that you’ve got to try and get him well, because if they’re sore all through the month of September, they’re not going to get un-sore in a hurry,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said.
Anderson was off for Sunday’s series finale against the Chicago Cubs. The White Sox had a day off Monday and another open date scheduled for Thursday. They are set to open a six-game road trip Friday in Kansas City.
“Hopefully he’s OK for Kansas City,” La Russa said. “But we’re going to get his legs strong and fresh before we play him again, hopefully this weekend.”
The White Sox have won four of five behind a deep attack and strong efforts from a shutdown bullpen. After starter Lucas Giolito left Tuesday’s game following 4 1/3 innings with left hamstring tightness, five pitchers combined on 4 2/3 innings of two-hit relief.
Yasmani Grandal homered to open the scoring Tuesday and is batting .500 (7-for-14) with four home runs and 11 RBIs in four games following a seven-week absence with a torn tendon in his left knee. Jose Abreu had two hits, including a home run, to cap a big August that saw him hit .330 with 10 home runs and 25 RBIs.
Meanwhile, Yoan Moncada extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a first-inning double.
Pittsburgh has lost three of four and was limited to five hits Tuesday in its first game since hitting coach Rick Eckstein was fired.
“There may be some different changes in practice plan and practice design, but we’re going to evaluate (players) on the adjustments that they’re currently making and the ones they’ll continue to make as we finish out the season,” manager Derek Shelton said.
The Pirates will look to rookie right-hander Max Kranick (1-2, 7.20 ERA) as they aim to split the series. Kranick has not pitched in the majors since he spaced three runs and five hits in four innings during an Aug. 3 no-decision at Milwaukee.
Left-hander Carlos Rodon (10-5, 2.43) gets the call for the White Sox. Returning from the injured list following a bout with fatigue in his throwing shoulder, Rodon on Thursday defeated the Toronto Blue Jays behind five innings of two-run ball.
Rodon has faced the Pirates once in his career, as a rookie in June 2015; he took the loss after allowing seven runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings.
–Field Level Media