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White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson is fierce competitor with big heart

Tim Anderson will donate $500 for every stolen base this year. | Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

TORONTO — White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson knows the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence. In 2017, his close friend Branden Moss was shot and killed outside a bar in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The news was devastating. It rocked Anderson’s world. In honor of his close friend, he started his “League of Leaders” program, a non-profit in which he works with at-risk youth in Chicago.

“We are on the South Side; that’s what goes on,” Anderson said before the game against the Blue Jays. “I know what it’s like being around it and growing up with it. So I think me and my wife, [Bria], do a good job of doing stuff in the community, and I think it’s kind of mandatory that we do that and be an example to the youth because they’re our future.”

Anderson said it’s not hard for him to share his story with children and teenagers.

“We have the same stories; we go through a lot of pain,” he said. “So I think they get it, and I get it, and that’s why the connection is so good.”

Anderson is a fiery competitor with a big heart. Earlier this week, he announced his plan to donate $500 to anti-violence charities for every stolen base he gets this season.

He already has robbed 12 bases, which is equivalent to $6,000, and he plans to have a lot more. Asked what his goal was, Anderson said he wasn’t sure.

“Hopefully, I can empty my pockets,” he said.

Just a matter of time

A Sox statistician recently revealed a chart to designated hitter/first baseman Yonder Alonso. The data showed he’s among the five unluckiest hitters in the majors.

Alonso has strung together good at-bats and is making solid contact, but the ball hasn’t fallen for him. He has a .172/.279/.328 slash line with 16 RBI and five homers — good for fourth-most on the team.

Alonso’s teammates have been offering words of encouragement.

“They tell me before the game, ‘Make sure you don’t hit it at somebody,’ ” Alonso said Friday.

Alonso believes his luck will change soon.

“I’m hitting the balls pretty hard; I’m having really good at-bats,” he said. “You may look at the stat line, and it doesn’t look like that, but I’m putting the ball in play. My RBI are there, my homers are there. It’s just a matter of time before things start clicking.”

‘‘That’s just baseball,’’ manager Rick Renteria said. ‘‘Over time, if he continues to have good approaches and make good contact, a lot of those balls will start to fall. . . . Yesterday, he came in and talked about that. His contact has been very good, and he’s right. He’s been hitting the ball well and having good at-bats.”

Jimenez update

Rookie left fielder Eloy Jimenez took the next step in his rehab before the game. Jimenez, who suffered a high right ankle sprain April 26 while scaling the left-field wall at Guaranteed Rate Field, ran the bases at Rogers Centre. Renteria said the Sox’ top prospect looked good. He’s expected to run the bases one more time Saturday or Sunday.

Jimenez is expected to have a three-day rehab assignment. Renteria said the Sox will determine when they’ll send him down to the minors “sometime at the end of this weekend or next week.”