A starter two years ago, Anderson is now a little used reserve, so when he had the game-winning single with the bases loaded in the ninth Saturday night, his teammates rushed from the dugout to celebrate.
“It’s tough. It’s not something I’m used to, but if that is what they need me for, so be it,” Anderson said of his new role. “I’ll be there when they need me and continue to do that and hopefully one day get back to starting.”
Baltimore captured the opener when Brian Burres, who faced one batter before Friday night’s rainout, came back Saturday afternoon and allowed just three singles in eight shutout innings to lead a 5-1 Orioles’ victory.
In the nightcap, Randor Bierd (0-1) walked Paul Konerko with one out in the ninth, A.J. Pierzynski singled and Joe Crede drew a walk to load the bases. Anderson, who’s now had 19 at-bats this season and entered the game batting .143, grounded a single to left on a 2-2 pitch.
“It’s not easy to come to play when you might play once a week, you may get one bat here or there,” Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. “It’s not an easy thing to handle, especially when you are only 20-something years old. But he’s handled it real well.”
Bobby Jenks (2-0) worked out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the top of the ninth, getting Kevin Millar to hit into a fielder’s choice with Luis Hernandez forced at the plate and retiring Aubrey Huff on a comebacker.
Millar, who’d homered earlier off Chicago starter Mark Buehrle, blamed himself for not getting the go-ahead run in with one out.
“He made a good pitch,” Millar said. “I let him off the hook by swinging at an 0-0 pitch that wasn’t my pitch. I have to take that. That’s a bad at-bat in that situation.”
Buehrle worked six innings and allowed three hits, including Millar’s solo homer in the sixth, and left with the White Sox leading 5-3.
But the Orioles tied it in the seventh as rookie Eider Torres singled for his first major league hit, Brian Roberts hit an RBI triple and Melvin Mora followed with a run-scoring double, all against reliever Boone Logan.
The White Sox broke a 2-2 tie in the third when Konerko scored all the way from first on Carlos Quentin’s double and an error on Torres.
Nick Swisher, in a 2-for-24 slump, hit a two-run homer to right—his third of the season—to finish Steve Trachsel in the third. Trachsel gave up five hits and five runs in three-plus innings and was hurt by five walks.
Ramon Hernandez had a two-out, two-run double in the second to put Baltimore ahead. Chicago tied it in the bottom half on Anderson’s run-scoring double—his first RBI of the season— and a run-scoring grounder by Pablo Ozuna.
In the opener, the quick turnaround didn’t appear to faze Burres.
“I actually felt really good. I felt just as good as I did yesterday, and I was glad that I did,” said Burres. “That kind of thing happened to me a couple times in the minor leagues and it never really bothered me.”
Winning a pitcher’s duel against Chicago southpaw John Danks, Burres retired 20 of the final 21 batters he faced. He walked none and struck out four in his 98-pitch performance, running his scoreless streak to 13 2-3 innings. The eight innings marked the longest outing of his career.
“I was just trying to concentrate on what I had to do and keep them from scoring,” Burres said. “We’ve been pretty good about scoring runs.”
Danks (2-2) pitched perfect ball for the first five innings before Adam Jones singled leading off the sixth. Guillermo Quiroz followed with his first major league homer, snapping Danks’ scoreless streak at 19 2-3 innings and putting the Orioles ahead 2-0.
Danks lasted 6 1-3 innings, giving up four hits and the two runs.
“Jones hit a good pitch to get on base and I didn’t make a good pitch to Quiroz,” Danks said. “Burres outpitched me today. I felt like I threw the ball well, but he was better.”
The Orioles added three runs in the top of the ninth off Octavio Dotel, the big hit a two-out RBI double by Roberts off the glove of Chicago center fielder Alexei Ramirez. The White Sox had two errors in the inning, one on first baseman Konerko for fumbling a grounder and one on Dotel for an errant pickoff throw.
Orioles reliever Matt Albers started the ninth, but the White Sox loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. George Sherrill then hit Quentin with a pitch to force in a run before retiring Crede on a fly to right to earn his ninth save in nine chances.
Burres’ previous longest outing was 7 2-3 innings against the Angels last season. … White Sox RF Jermaine Dye sat out both games with a strained groin. … After the game, the White Sox optioned reliever Mike MacDougal to Triple-A Charlotte. He walked one and gave up a hit in a third of an inning in Saturday’s opener. … Buehrle, who threw six pitches before Friday night’s game was rained out, was supposed to make his next appearance Monday. He sent a text message to Guillen saying he wanted to pitch Saturday.