First Welington Castillo threw out a runner trying to steal a base. Then he got a hit.
Both came in the eighth inning of the Sox’ 5-4 victory Monday against the Royals, and both were unusual events. Sox catchers hadn’t thrown out a baserunner in 13 attempts before Hunter Dozier was thrown out at second, and Castillo — who homered over the right-field wall against Brad Boxberger — hadn’t cleared a fence this season and was mired in an 0-for-23 slump.
“It was huge,” Sox manager Rick Renteria said.
So was the continued offensive onslaught from shortstop Tim Anderson, who went 3-for-4 to raise his major-league-leading average to .453 — and to .621 in six home games. Anderson doubled off the left-field wall before Castillo’s poke to right.
“I knew it was gone,’’ said Anderson, who stood near second base and waved the ball goodbye. “Great moment for him and even better moment for the team.”
The Sox (6-9) won for the third time in four games after taking two of three games from the Yankees over the weekend in New York.
The Royals (5-11) got home runs from Dozier and Chris Owings in a three-run second against Ervin Santana, who put up zeros in the first, third, fourth and fifth.
The Sox scored three in the fifth against Royals starter Heath Fillmyer to tie it. Anderson singled and scored from second when Yolmer Sanchez beat out a double play (a call at first overturned after the Sox challenged), Sanchez scored on Leury Garcia’s double and Garcia scored on Yoan Moncada’s single.
Whit Merrifield drove in Billy Hamilton with a sacrifice fly after Hamilton stole second and advanced to third on Castillo’s throwing error in the seventh.
Closer Alex Colome collected the 100th save of his career. He got his fourth save in as many opportunities and second in as many days. That’s the way Colome (2.57 ERA) likes it.
Colome says he’s at his best “when I pitch more. Two or three days in a row is when I’m better, more consistent.”
He issued his first walk, to Owings leading off the ninth, but got three consecutive outs, including two strikeouts.
Colome ranks fourth among American League saves leaders since 2016 behind Edwin Diaz, Craig Kimbrel and Roberto Osuna.
Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez looks to stop an 0-for-3 slump in starts Tuesday when he faces the Royals, a team he hasn’t fared well against in eight career starts (5.16 ERA).
“There’s some mechanics,” said pitching coach Don Cooper, who’s confident Lopez won’t be down for long. “It’s not good luck and bad luck. He’s struggling. He’s struggling with consistency and command. He’ll be out of this.’’
This and that
Prized center-field prospect Luis Robert, named Carolina League player of the week, had another strong night, going 2-for-4 with a stolen base for Class A Winston-Salem. Second baseman Nick Madrigal raised his average to .351 with three hits.
• Daniel Palka went 0-for-1 with two walks and is 0-for-29 — and 0-for-31 dating to last season.
• Jon Jay (hip strain), on the injured list all season, played catch and was said to be close to hitting off a tee.