|11:10 AM PT12:10 PM MT1:10 PM CT2:10 PM ET14:10 ET18:10 GMT2:10 11:10 AM MST1:10 PM EST1:40 PM VEN22:10 UAE1:10 PM CT, September 8, 2019
Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Illinois Attendance: 22,681
Chicago's Anderson continues batting title quest vs. Angels
Tim Anderson's recent shift to the leadoff spot wasn't an effort to ensure he had enough at-bats to qualify for a possible American League batting title.
The Chicago White Sox shortstop is up to speed in that regard after missing extended time with various injuries. After two hits each in the first two games of this weekend's home series against the Los Angeles Angels, he enters Sunday's finale hitting an American League-best .334.
Should Anderson maintain that edge over the final three weeks, he would become the first White Sox player to lead the league in hitting since Frank Thomas in 1997.
Luke Appling, who accomplished the feat in 1936 and 1943, is the only other Chicago player to win a batting title.
How monumental would it be if Anderson maintained his pace?
"It would put a feather in his cap, the organization's cap, from scouting and player development to our staff, as well, of continuing to see the maturity throughout the years," said White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing, who is managing the team this weekend as manager Rick Renteria recovers from Friday's surgery on his torn right rotator cuff.
"It's so impressive to see what he's gone through on a daily basis and the adjustments he makes throughout the season, from the beginning of spring training until now, and the understanding of what pitchers are trying to do to him now."
The Angels, who are seeking a series sweep, also feature an AL leader in a major offensive category. Center fielder Mike Trout, who was out of the lineup Saturday with right toe discomfort but appeared as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning, enters Sunday with 45 home runs.
Trout has not faced scheduled White Sox starter Dylan Cease (3-7, 6.75 ERA), a rookie right-hander who allowed two homers in an Aug. 18 road loss to the Angels. Cease surrendered five runs in five innings.
Angels righty Jaime Barria (4-7, 6.27 ERA), who rejoined the rotation in mid-July, has a 4.88 ERA in 10 starts compared to a 10.00 ERA in five relief appearances.
Barria, who has not faced the White Sox this season, is 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA against them in one career start, allowing four runs in five innings.
Barria said he is especially focusing on his mental game as he aims to be a factor in the Los Angeles starting rotation during the stretch run of this season and beyond.
"If you don't have a strong mindset, bad things can happen to you," Barria said. "I always try to be positive, to find good things among the bad. That's what's helped me this year."
The White Sox will be without Renteria for one more game Sunday as he takes the weekend to recoup from Friday's surgery in Chicago.
"He was trying to wait to (have surgery) until the offseason," McEwing said. "We told him, 'Get it done. Don't go through the pain. Get it done now. We got you.'"
--Field Level Media
Updated September 8, 2019