DETROIT – Tim Anderson swung right back into action after serving a suspension stemming from an incident last season, hitting two doubles and a single as the Chicago White Sox routed the Detroit Tigers 10-1 on Sunday.
Anderson sat out the first two games as a penalty for making contact with an umpire on Sept. 27.
The All-Star shortstop and 2019 AL batting champion made an immediate impact, hitting a double on the first pitch of the game. He wound up scoring twice for the AL Central champions.
“I spent two days in the hotel watching us play on television, which is pretty boring,” he said. “I was ready to go as soon as I got something I could hit.”
Anderson is hitting .346 with 26 doubles and 79 runs in 90 career games against the Tigers.
“We won yesterday, but it was obvious how much we missed Tim,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “I don’t think there’s a better shortstop in the game. There are some guys at his level, but no one who is above him.”
Andrew Vaughn homered and drove in four runs for the White Sox, who won twice in the season-opening three-game series.
“We got our hearts broken in the ninth inning on opening day, but we came right back and won the next two games,” La Russa said. “There’s never a question about this team’s desire to win.”
White Sox starter Michael Kopech allowed one run on two hits and two walks in four innings, striking out three.
“It felt good to get out there and get through four innings,” said Kopech, who was on a 70-pitch limit. “There were some things that went wrong, but I was able to fix them pretty quickly.”
Tariq Skubal (0-1) gave up five runs on seven hits in four innings.
“I never found a good rhythm today,” he said. “I wasn’t putting the fastball where I wanted it, and my changeup command wasn’t good, either.”
The White Sox took a 2-0 lead in the first off Skubal (0-1). After Anderson doubled, Luis Robert singled and stole second. Jose Abreu had an RBI groundout and Eloy Jimenez followed with a sacrifice fly.
“They put together some long innings, and a lot of that was Tim Anderson doing what he does,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “Every time the lineup rolled back over to him, we were in trouble.”
The White Sox added four runs off rookie Elvin Rodriguez in the seventh. Jimenez hit an RBI single and Vaughn followed with a three-run homer.
Vaughn singled home another run in the ninth.
“I’ll be honest — I wasn’t comfortable when it was 9-1 in the seventh,” La Russa said. “It is too easy these days to give up a crooked number and be in trouble all over again. I didn’t really enjoy it until the last three outs.”
The Tigers had no hits and two walks in the final seven innings.
“We were behind early, and I think our at-bats quite honestly got a little rushed as the game went along,” Hinch said. “They pitched with more aggressiveness than we were ready for.”
WELCOME TO THE BIG LEAGUES
Rodriguez made his major league debut, replacing Skubal for the fifth inning. Chicago reliever Tanner Banks made his debut with two scoreless innings, striking out four and surviving a game-ending flyball to the wall in left by Miguel Cabrera.
“I saw Miggy in the hallway just now and I said this was a good day for the win to be blowing in,” Banks said. “He smiled back at me.”
White Sox: INF A.J. Pollock sat out after leaving Saturday with a hamstring strain. Pollock, who doesn’t believe the injury is serious, was due to leave soon on paternity leave anyway.
Tigers: RHP Kyle Funkhouser (shoulder) isn’t expected back before May.