About 30,000 empty seats around him.
Anderson won his first appearance with the Indians at the Jake in nearly six years, leading Cleveland to a 5-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.
Only 14,841 -- the smallest crowd in the ballpark's 10-year history -- showed up in near-freezing temperatures. It was the fewest fans to see an Indians home game since Sept. 20, 1993, at Cleveland Stadium.
"I don't think that was surprising,'' Anderson said. "I don't think a whole lot of people were itching to get out of the house.''
Anderson (2-0), who earned a save in Game 4 against Florida in
the '97 Series in his first stint with the Indians, allowed two
runs and seven hits in six innings.
The left-hander re-signed as a free agent with Cleveland in
December after five seasons with Arizona. The Indians wanted the
30-year-old to mentor their young pitchers and eat up some innings.
So far, Anderson has done just that, pitching 14 innings in his two starts. Last season, he didn't get his second win until June 18.
"I didn't feel real good,'' Anderson said. "It was a battle, mentally and physically. Certainly it's nice to come back and win, but it was a tough game for me.''
Rookie Brandon Phillips hit his first career homer off Jon
Garland (0-1), and added a double, stole third and scored on a
short sacrifice fly to center for the Indians.
"Everything is lovely,'' Phillips said with a smile. "Nothing
can get better than this right now.''
"The guys really backed me up,'' Anderson said. "We did a lot
of good things tonight.''
Paul Konerko homered for the White Sox, who had their winning
streak stopped at four games.
The 23-year-old Garland allowed five runs and six hits in six innings. He dropped to 1-6 in eight career starts against the Indians.
"Regardless of age or experience, I should be pitching at this
level. I'm upset that I lost, and I need to be a little sharper.''
Phillips' first career homer gave the Indians a 4-1 lead in the
His drive into the left-field bleachers bounced back onto the
field, and before Chicago center fielder Aaron Rowand realized
Phillips would want it, he tossed it into the crowd.
"I always do that,'' said Rowand, who then tried unsuccessfully
to coax a fan to throw it back to him. "I thought to myself, 'Oh,
man, my bad.' I yelled to the guy but he wanted no part of it. I'm
Phillips opened the seventh with a double to chase Garland, and
stole third. Bradley hit a fly to medium center and Phillips
decided to test Rowand and beat his throw to the plate.
TV replays showed that Phillips might have missed the plate and
was tagged by catcher Josh Paul.
"I thought we got him,'' White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said.
"The plate umpire said we never touched him. Maybe we can go over
there now and touch him. I don't know how that works.''
Phillips saw it differently.
"I was safe!'' he said, his voice rising.
The Indians, who came in batting just .196 -- the AL's
second-lowest average this season -- took a 2-0 lead in the first on
Karim Garcia's two-run single.
Cleveland went ahead 3-1 in the second on Bradley's sacrifice fly.
Konerko, stuck in an early season slump, led off the second with
his first homer to make it 2-1. Frank Thomas brought the White Sox
to 4-2 with an RBI double in the fifth.
Anderson's last win at Jacobs Field with the Indians came on July 4, 1997, against Kansas City. He won in Cleveland last season as a member of the Diamondbacks. ... Phillips got his souvenir ball when the Indians traded a signed bat and ball with a fan. ... The White Sox played their first night game this season after seven matinees. ... Thomas struck out his first time up, but went 2-for-3 against Anderson and is 7-for-11 (.636) with five RBI in his career against the left-hander. ... Anderson made his first start against the White Sox since 1996. He improved to 8-3 lifetime at the Jake.
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