White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson said Tuesday that Josh Donaldson was clearly trying to rattle him when the Yankees third baseman referred to him as “Jackie,” a remark that led to Donaldson being suspended one game by Major League Baseball.
Anderson and White Sox manager Tony La Russa said previously that Donaldson was being racist when he referred to Anderson, who is Black, by the name of the man who broke baseball’s color barrier.
Donaldson has appealed the suspension and has denied that he had any racist intent. He said the comment was a reference to a 2019 Sports Illustrated interview in which Anderson said he viewed himself as a modern-day Jackie Robinson.
“He was trying to provoke me,” Anderson said Tuesday before the White Sox faced the Red Sox. “But he knew what he was doing.”
The benches and bullpens emptied after Donaldson’s remark.
Anderson said he didn’t have a strong opinion on MLB’s decision to suspend Donaldson and fine him an undisclosed amount. Anderson did confirm he had a brief conversation in 2019 in which Donaldson called him “Jackie.”
“He did say that,” Anderson said. “I told him, ‘We don’t have to talk again. I won’t speak to you, you don’t speak to me if that’s how you’re going to refer to me.’
“I know he knew exactly what he was doing. I already told him. He went to Minnesota 2-3 years ago, and he don’t say nothing to me because he knows I already addressed it. And we get into it [on May 13]. He slammed back, so I pushed him off me. So what? He felt the need to say it again.”
Anderson shoved Donaldson on May 13 following a hard tag in Chicago, which also led to the benches emptying.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone and team leader Aaron Judge have both said Donaldson was in the wrong to taunt Anderson in that way.
Yankees lose LeMahieu, Stanton
The Yankees lost All-Stars DJ LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton to injuries Tuesday, and also placed closer Aroldis Chapman on the injured list.
LeMahieu was set to lead off and play third base against the Orioles, but the Yankees announced he wouldn’t play about 90 minutes before the first pitch because of left wrist discomfort.
Stanton was pulled from the game with right calf tightness. He was replaced by pinch hitter Estevan Florial in the seventh inning after going 0 for 2 with a strikeout as the designated hitter.
LeMahieu, a two-time batting champion, is hitting .250 with three homers and a .704 OPS this season. He’s 5 for 39 (.128) over his past 10 games. Asked about LeMahieu’s struggles earlier Tuesday, Boone said he thought LeMahieu was “close” to ending his slump and did not cite the wrist as an issue.
Stanton is batting .285 with 11 homers and a team-leading 35 RBIs.
Marwin Gonzalez replaced LeMahieu at third base, and Aaron Hicks was bumped up to the leadoff spot. Gonzalez was hit in the right hand by a pitch Tuesday but remained in the game.
New York also activated catcher Kyle Higashioka from the COVID-19 IL. Left fielder Joey Gallo and Donaldson remain out with the virus, although Gallo has tested negative and worked out at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. He could be activated Wednesday.
Chapman had an MRI on Monday that came back negative for a tear. Boone said Tuesday that Chapman was improving but not game ready.
Renfroe to injured list
The Brewers placed outfielder Hunter Renfroe on the 10-day injured list with a strained right hamstring and selected infielder-outfielder Mark Mathias from Triple A Nashville. Renfroe was injured during Monday night’s 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Padres. He was hitting .266 with nine home runs and 16 RBIs for the NL Central-leading Brewers Manager Craig Counsell said before Tuesday night’s game that an MRI showed a low-grade hamstring strain and that Renfroe could miss two weeks … The Mariners activated former American League Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis from the injured list, nearly a year after he last played in a major league game. Lewis, the 2020 rookie of the year, missed most of last season because of a right knee injury, but the slumping Mariners are hoping his return to the lineup can provide a spark. Lewis batted seventh for Tuesday’s game against the Athletics. His last major league game was on May 31, 2021. “It’s exciting to have him back. It’s been a long time,” manager Scott Servais said … Righthander Zach Eflin and the Phillies agreed to a $5.7 million, one-year contract. Eflin gets a $5.55 million salary this year, and the deal includes a $15 million mutual option for 2023 with a $150,000 buyout. The Phillies and Eflin had been scheduled for an arbitration hearing on Wednesday. He had asked for a raise from $4.45 million to $6.9 million and had been offered $5.15 million.
Betts powers Dodgers
Mookie Betts homered twice on a night he was originally supposed to have off, and the Dodgers beat the Nationals, 9-4, in Washington. Betts smacked a three-run homer off former Dodgers prospect Josiah Gray and hit solo shot off Victor Arano for his 21st career multihomer game and his second of the season. Chris Taylor and Trea Turner also homered for Los Angeles, which has won 9 of 10 … Kevin Kiermaier hit Pablo López’s first pitch for an inside-the-park home run, and the Rays beat the Marlins, 4-0, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Harold Ramirez and Ji-Man Choi also homered off López, who had given up only two home runs in eight preceding starts. Shane McClanahan (4-2) pitched six innings for the Rays, striking out nine … Connor Joe singled home the tiebreaking run in the top of the 10th inning, and the Rockies slipped past the Pirates, 2-1. With one out, Joe grounded his hit up the middle off David Bednar (1-1), scoring automatic runner Sam Hilliard from second base. Joe ran his on-base streak to 21 games. Daniel Bard (2-2) pitched two scoreless innings to complete Colorado’s five-hitter. The Rockies won for just the second time in their last 12 road games … Frank Schwindel homered twice in a game for the first time in his career, and the Cubs rolled past the Reds, 11-4, in Cincinnati. The Cubs have hit a major league-leading 19 homers since May 14, going deep in 10 of 11 games.