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White Sox’ slammin’ Tim Anderson pays homage to Robinson, Woods

Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox celebrates his fourth inning grand slam home run with his teammates as Kyle Higashioka of the New York Yankees looks on at Yankee Stadium on April 14, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Monday is Jackie Robinson Day, which means every player will wear Robinson’s No. 42 jersey.

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson will wear it proudly when the Sox host the Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“It’s a special day,” Anderson said Sunday. “A guy like him paved the way for a guy like me who is the same color. It’s a great day to put that jersey on and play with ‘42’ on it.”

Anderson (.429 batting average) made Sunday special, too, continuing his tear as the American League’s leading hitter by lining an opposite-field grand slam into the first rows of right-field seats at Yankee Stadium off a slider from Masahiro Tanaka, giving the Sox a two-run lead in their 5-2 victory. Read what you will into it, but Anderson’s slam came seconds after Tiger Woods, a trailblazing athlete in his own right, won the Masters.

“He told me to hit [a grand slam],” Anderson joked. “He sent me a message, so I did it.”

The Sox, with Anderson, coaches Daryl Boston and Todd Steverson and broadcaster Darrin Jackson, will welcome local students from their Amateur City Elite (ACE) and Youth Guidance programs and other students to a special screening Monday in Chatham of “42,” the feature film recounting the story of Robinson’s historic season breaking the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

“We’re going to show ‘42’ for the kids, let them see what he went through to open the door for black guys,” Anderson said. “It’s important to enjoy that day because it’s his day. Make it all about him.”

Santana, Take 2

Right-hander Ervin Santana — rocked by the Rays for seven runs and seven hits, including three home runs, in 3„ innings in his first appearance with the Sox last Tuesday — said there’s no mystery as to why he was ineffective.

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“I was not in the strike zone,” said Santana, a two-time AL All-Star.

Santana worked with a 93-94 mph four-seam fastball in 2017. Against the Rays, he was at 91, which he said is more than enough.

“You ask about the velocity, but I don’t really care about the velocity,” Santana said. “I care about locating the fastball and making pitches. If I throw 93-94, it’s fine for me, and if I throw 90-91, it’s fine, too. The main thing for me is locating.’’

Santana gets his second start Monday night, when the Sox open a three-game homestand against Kansas City.

This and that

Jose Abreu broke out of a 4-for-33 slump with a double, sacrifice fly, walk and two stolen bases, two of five steals for the Sox. It was only the second time in nine years that the Sox had five in a game. Right fielder Aaron Judge might have taken a grand slam away from Abreu on the sacrifice fly, and Abreu, after coming up a few inches short, playfully did push-ups when he returned to the dugout.

† Yoan Moncada (.328) was 3-for-4 with a double, walk and stolen base. Moncada had a tiny cut on one finger and a blood blister on another two after his left hand made contact with shortstop Gleyber Torres’ spikes on a headfirst slide on an unsuccessful stolen-base attempt in the ninth inning.

† Yolmer Sanchez, batting .094 going in, got his fourth and fifth hits, one of them a double. Sanchez also was thrown out trying to steal when he went into second base standing up.

† Daniel Palka (0-for-3) is 0-for-28, and his 0-for-30 skid dating to last season is the longest active slump in the majors.