DETROIT - From the first plate appearance of the game, Tim Anderson made this a long day for the opposing pitchers.
Anderson homered to cap a 10-pitch at-bat leading off the first inning, and Luis Robert added a bases-clearing double in the fifth to lift the Chicago White Sox to a 7-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.
Anderson had four hits and finished a double shy of the cycle, and the White Sox have won two in a row since he returned from a groin injury.
“Energizer Bunny, baby,” Anderson said. “Just my presence, being in that lineup definitely made the guys go and made the other team scared.”
Anderson and Eloy Jimenez led off the game with consecutive home runs. Jonathan Schoop and Willi Castro homered for the Tigers, who scored four unearned runs in the fourth before Matthew Boyd (0-2) gave the lead right back.
Anderson, who led the majors in batting last year at .335, fouled off six straight two-strike pitches before his first-inning homer. He had a triple, too, by the end of the third inning and added two singles before striking out on three pitches in the eighth.
Dylan Cease (3-1) allowed one earned run and seven hits in six innings. Three Chicago relievers held Detroit scoreless, with Alex Colome working a perfect ninth for his fifth save in five chances.
Both teams took advantage of extra opportunities in their big innings. Detroit’s Victor Reyes reached base on a passed ball on a third strike, and that came back to haunt the White Sox when Grayson Greiner hit a two-out, two-run double that tied the game at 3 in the fourth.
Castro followed with a two-run homer.
But the Tigers let Boyd, their opening day starter, labor well into the fifth, and Chicago eventually broke through. Anderson played a big role again. After leading off the inning with a single, he moved to second on a walk and hustled to third when Edwin Encarnacion hit a slow grounder to shortstop Niko Goodrum.
Anderson rounded the bag a bit, which caught Goodrum’s attention, and the Tigers didn’t get any outs on the play. It was scored a fielder’s choice. Boyd ended up one out short of escaping the jam. Robert’s drive off the wall in right-center field scored three runs. Nomar Mazara added an RBI double to make it 7-5 and finally chase the Detroit left-hander.
“I know I need to be better. There’s been inconsistencies and usually it’s centered around me trying to overthrow right now,” Boyd said. “I’m continuing to work on that. The main thing is I was falling behind on some guys.”
In Tuesday night’s win over the Tigers, Chicago manager Rick Renteria pulled starter Gio Gonzalez with one out to go in the fifth, costing him a chance at a win. Gonzalez didn’t seem thrilled about it, but when the Tigers stuck with their starter in the fifth a day later, it backfired.
“We scored four runs on your pitcher, Matty needs to go out there and get a shutdown inning but he couldn’t get through the inning, finish off the hitters,” Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He had a couple of times to finish them off and pitches got away from him and there you have it. They put four right back on.”
Cease, meanwhile, recovered from his rough fourth inning and made it through six for the second time in three starts.
“It’s huge to be able to save bullpen arms, for one, and for me personally to get that deep,” he said. “It means a lot to me.”
Tigers: 1B C.J. Cron (sprained knee) said before the game that surgery has been discussed, but it may be able to wait. At this point, he’s going to try to come back and finish the year.
The Tigers are off Thursday. Then Detroit starts a home series against Cleveland on Friday night, with RHP Ivan Nova (1-0) facing Indians RHP Aaron Civale (1-2).
The next scheduled game for Chicago is at home Friday night against St. Louis, although the Cardinals haven’t played since July 29 because of issues they’ve been having with the coronavirus.