Jose Abreu’s MLB-leading 29th home run lifts White Sox
CLEVELAND — White Sox slugger Jose Abreu has already done a lot of damage in the first half of his rookie season.
He kept on going Saturday in Chicago’s 6-2 win over the Cleveland Indians. Abreu hit his major league-leading 29th homer, a two-run shot that helped the White Sox end a three-game losing streak.
“He’s good,” his manager Robin Ventura said. “I’m glad he’s on our side.”
Abreu, picked for the AL All-Star team, broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning with a drive off Zach McAllister (3-5). The homer cleared the fence in right field and landed in the White Sox bullpen for Chicago’s first hit.
After White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez, another member of the All-Star team, left the game with a stiff back following a leadoff walk in the fourth. Abreu homered on the next pitch.
Ramirez said he doesn’t think his back will prevent him from playing in Tuesday’s game in Minnesota.
Abreu is batting .287 with 73 RBIs, good for second in the league.
“I am very proud of what I have accomplished so far in the first half,” he said through a translator. “I’m very happy to participate in the All-Star game. It’s definitely an honor.”
Abreu is 7 for 35 with five homers and 15 strikeouts against the Indians.
“Abreu is obviously a very dangerous hitter,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “That’s probably the understatement of the year.”
All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley hit a leadoff homer in the eighth for Cleveland.
Scott Carroll (4-5) held the Indians to two hits in five shutout innings before being pulled because of a stiff lower back.
“I felt it a couple of innings before that,” he said. “It really kind of hit me in the fifth. I tried to stay out there as long as I could.”
The rookie right-hander has won two straight starts, in which he hasn’t allowed a run over 11 2/3 innings. Carroll allowed one hit over 6 2/3 innings in Monday’s 4-0 victory at Boston. He was 0-5 with an 8.10 ERA in his previous six starts.
Gordon Beckham broke a 1-for-32 skid with a two-run double during a three-run ninth. Indians reliever Austin Adams made his major league debut and gave up all three runs. He got only one out.
Adam Dunn had an RBI single in the Chicago sixth.
White Sox relievers Zach Putnam, Javy Guerra, Eric Surkamp and Jake Petricka combined to allow two runs over the final four innings.
Carroll hasn’t given up an earned run in 14 innings over three appearances against Cleveland. His first career loss was to the Indians on May 3 when he allowed two unearned runs in six innings of a 2-0 defeat.
Carroll retired the first eight hitters before Mike Aviles’ two-out single in the third.
McAllister, recalled from Triple-A Columbus to make the start, gave up three runs in seven innings. His only major mistake came to Abreu.
“I wasn’t thinking about a home run,” Abreu said. “I was trying to hit the ball the other way. I hit a line drive, and I was lucky it went out of the park.”
Jason Kipnis drew a bases-loaded walk in the seventh for the Indians. Earlier in the inning, Yan Gomes hit a line drive that was originally called a catch, but was overturned after Indians manager Terry Francona challenged the ruling.
The Indians moved designated hitter Jason Giambi (sore left knee) to the 60-day disabled list following the game. Giambi, batting .128 with two homers and five RBIs in 15 games, had been on the 15-day DL since June 12.
Before the game, Francona said Giambi will “definitely” play again this season. The move was made after Cleveland acquired LHP Nick Maronde in a minor league trade with the Angels and added him to the 40-man roster.
*Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Mark Duncan