Tim Anderson takes to his left to field PJ Higgins’ grounder at Guaranteed Rate Field against the Chicago Cubs in the fifth inning of a City Series game on Sunday.
The White Sox shortstop threw first and fell to the ground in apparent pain.
There was silence on the selling crowd of 38,080. Teammates circled Anderson in shallow center field. He needed the help of the training staff to get out of the game.
Anderson became the latest major Sox player to be injured this season as he left with a strained right groin.
The Sox found a way to rally without their aggressive spark plugs, beating the Cubs 5-4 in 12 innings. Third baseman Jake Berger knocks off Danny Mendick with a single to end the marathon game.
“I made a (fielding) error in the seventh that cost us a run,” Berger said. “I’m glad I got a chance to redeem myself a little bit.”
Now the question is how long will the Sox be without Anderson.
“It’s devastating,” Berger said. “You saw all nine people around him. He’s such a leader and such an influential person in this clubhouse that it will be tough. But he will always be with us no matter what.”
Anderson will undergo further evaluation on Monday. Sox manager Tony La Russa said Anderson would be on the injured list.
La Russa said, “It’s normal, he makes a great play on the il when we need it.”
Anderson, who was a first-time All-Star in his career last season, moved into third place in the American League on Sunday with a batting average of .354. He finished second in the team with five home runs and first with 19 RBIs.
“This guy is as good as any player in the game in that position,” La Russa said. “We’re not nearly as good without him, but we should be good enough to win.”
Such was the case of Sunday.
After being intercepted by Marcus Strowman, who allowed three hits in seven shutout innings, the Sox tied the game at 1 in the ninth when AJ Pollock scored on a wild pitch by David Robertson.
The Cubs scored twice in the 10th, only for the Sox to come back with two at the bottom of the innings. Both teams scored once in the 11th.
The Sox thought they had won in the 11th when Adam Engel walked home after hitting Leuri Garcia for the first time after a throw from Robert Geselmann. Garcia was dismissed by the umpires at the batsmen’s intervention, and Engel had to go back to second.
“(Plate umpire) Ted (Barrett) said that at some point (Garcia) has to go to the other side of that line,” La Russa said. “I guarantee he knows the rules better than I do.”
The Cubs emptied at the top of the 12th, and Berger’s victory saw Geselmann’s ball out at the bottom of the innings as the teams split the two-game series.
“I was stepping into the box with my plan and they bring in the fifth infielder,” Berger said. “I made eye contact with Danny Mendick at third base and we both started laughing because I hadn’t seen it in a while, and that kind of gave me a little bit of comfort.
“I just wanted to see something and try to get something in the outfield, and of course, it was the first pitch.”
The Sox won three of four in this year’s City Series after sweeping two games at Wrigley Field on May 3-4.
“When’s the last time you played so many innings with a runner at second base?” Mendick said. “You win a ballgame like this where you bust your butt, it makes you feel good when you go home.”
The Sox is back at .500 (23-23) and going on a six-game trip to Toronto and Tampa Bay starting Tuesday.
They will be without Anderson, who joins a list of sidelined Sox players that includes pitcher Lance Lynn (surgery on the right knee) and outfielder Aloy Jimenez (torn right hamstring tendon). Lynn and Jimenez are in rehab with Triple-A Charlotte.
“Nobody wants to see Timmy go down,” Mendick said. “He is the captain of the team. So everyone has to pick him up.”