Royals' Anderson hopes to celebrate in finale vs. White Sox
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals believe Tim Anderson celebrates too much.
Anderson's first inning leadoff Chicago White Sox home run celebration led to Royals catcher Salvador Perez saying something in the second game of a Saturday doubleheader.
When Perez reached second base in the bottom of the inning, the conversation continued, the dugouts and the bullpens emptied. Unpleasant words were exchanged, but no punches.
"That's a tea party. That's not a scuffle," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "That's a little get together out there."
But it could be more than a tea party Sunday when the two teams close out a five-game series after a doubleheader split on Saturday.
Anderson does not vow to cease his celebrations.
"I'm just having fun," Anderson said. "I was able to get a good pitch to hit and drive it out of the ballpark, and I celebrated. That's what we do. I did it for the boys, and we're having fun.
"I'm never going to change. I'm having fun. I play this game with my heart and I put a lot of work into it and I'm not going to change because of that. It's not the first incident and it's probably not going to be the last. I play with a lot of energy, so I'm going to keep going.
"If they don't like it, so what. If they don't like it, pick another location. If I hit it out of the ballpark, man, I get excited. That's what we do."
Perez said Anderson was showing disrespect.
"I don't have a problem when a guy hits a homer and takes a step or two and keeps running," Perez said. "But when you start to get loud and say some words, I don't like that. You've got to respect my team and my pitcher. From my side, it's over."
Anderson said it was a failure of communication.
"I just told him, 'It's not like that, I don't disrespect the game like that; I'm a leadoff guy; that gets my guys going'," Anderson said. "I tried to explain to him and try to let him know where I was coming from. It kind of didn't go that way, but that's OK. Sometimes people don't understand each other, but that's not going to change my game."
White Sox acting manager Joe McEwing said both players are respected.
"He's been a good catcher in this league for a period of time, won a World Series," McEwing said of Perez. "I respect him totally. I respect T.A. He's one of our kids, one of our family. There's nothing wrong with playing the game with a little excitement."
Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy and White Sox left-hander Hector Santiago are the starters for the Sunday finale.
Kennedy had to exit his previous start after three innings Tuesday when Milwaukee's Ryan Braun struck a liner off his foot, bruising his little toe.
Kennedy absorbed the 5-2 loss, allowing four runs on six hits over three innings. Kennedy did not strike out a batter for the first time in 272 career big league starts.
Kennedy is 1-3 with a 3.46 ERA in his first five starts this year, giving up 10 earned runs over 26 innings. Kennedy has allowed 29 hits, including four home runs, and walked eight, while striking out 22. Opponents are hitting .271 against him.
Over the past two seasons, Kennedy has registered a 2.98 ERA in nine April starts, but just a 1-5 record.
Kennedy is facing the White Sox for the second time this season. He had a no-decision in a 4-3 Kansas City loss on March 31. Kennedy gave up one run on four hits over six innings.
He is 2-3 with a 4.66 ERA in 10 career starts against the White Sox, which includes a 1-3 record since signing with the Royals prior to the 2016 season.
Santiago (0-0, 3.38 ERA) will be making his first start of the season after seven relief appearances, striking out 15 and walking seven over 16 innings.
Santiago made 14 starts last season the Minnesota Twins and has 130 starts in the majors.
He is 3-4 with a 4.26 ERA in 18 games, including a dozen starts, against the Royals. He has allowed 66 hits in 69 2/3 innings. Santiago has yielded 12 doubles, two triples and eight home runs against Kansas City. The Royals have a .249 batting average and a .321 on-base percentage against Santiago. He is 2-2 in nine games, six of them starts, in KC.
Updated April 29, 2018