White Sox catcher Welington Castillo certainly is old enough to know better. And Castillo, 31, has been around manager Rick Renteria enough to understand that loitering in the batter’s box while a routine pop-up soars off his bat and over first base just isn’t going to cut it.
Not with these rebuilding Sox. Not with Renteria’s oft-expressed determination to help create an ‘‘identity’’ in the organization.
A day after being yanked from a game by Renteria for failing to run out a play in a loss to the Orioles, Castillo was back in the lineup and had three hits and an RBI as the Sox rallied for a 3-2 victory Tuesday. The winning run scored on a two-out, two-strike single in the eighth inning by Yolmer Sanchez, who emptied a bucket of Gatorade over his own head on the field after the game.
Castillo, who also played for Renteria with the Cubs, was accountable for his error in judgment in the opener of the four-game series Monday.
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‘‘Yeah, 100 percent,’’ he said. ‘‘That’s something that [Renteria] always says. That’s something that he’s not going to let pass.
‘‘He always says, ‘You’ve got to run the bases hard, no matter what.’ And, for some reason, I was just frustrated. I wanted to get the job done. I saw the ball was going to be fair, and for some reason I did not run. I think that the decision that he made was the right decision. That’s not me, and I’m not going to do it again.’’
The Sox trailed 3-2 in the seventh inning and had runners at second and third with nobody out Monday when Castillo popped out. It was the beginning of the end of the rally and undoubtedly set a leas-than-ideal tone.
‘‘Frustration is no excuse for lack of action,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘Because if that was the case, I might bury myself back in the clubhouse every day if something doesn’t go right.’’
Castillo was back behind the plate Tuesday to guide pitcher James Shields through seven rock-solid innings, proof that Renteria forgives, even if he isn’t inclined to forget. The Sox also had Leury Garcia in left field nearly two weeks after he was benched for failing to run out a bunt.
‘‘As you guys have heard me say: One time is an accident, twice is a habit,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘We’re trying to eliminate habits if they’re there.’’
If this is Renteria digging in his heels on his old-school ways, so be it. Some observers think, for example, that Sox players are called upon too often to bunt. Is it really the best way for a losing team to break through with some increased run production? Are enough of the Sox able to bunt proficiently to begin with?
But what does it matter what others say? There the Sox were hours before the game Tuesday, taking bunting practice.
‘‘It was just a reaffirmation, I guess, of focus,’’ Renteria said.
Another focus issue had to do with struggling center fielder Adam Engel, who was thrown out at second Monday after trying to stretch a sharp single to left into a no-chance-at-all double. Engel was thrown out by a good 15 feet.
Renteria pulled back on his original analysis that the baserunning gaffe had been ‘‘reckless.’’
‘‘It wasn’t hustle that got him in trouble; it was not picking up his eyes to see what was developing in front of him,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘That was the mistake he made, but that’s correctable.’’
Castillo said all the Sox — young, old and in between — have to own up when they screw up for the culture to become strong.
‘‘The same rule that is for the young guys is for the veteran guys, too,’’ he said. ‘‘We are a team. We are a family.’’