Sox, Danks Look to Halt Halos
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
White Sox vs. Angels at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the three-game series. Starters: LHP John Danks (7-6, 4.26) for the Sox, RHP Tyler Skaggs (4-4, 4.34) for the Halos.
Danks is set to make his 17th start of the season. He is 4-2 with a 2.77 ERA in eight home starts this season and 4-1 with a 3.41 ERA over his last five starts. John earned the win in his last start on June 27 at Toronto, tossing six innings and giving up just two runs on five hits while striking out two without walking a batter.
Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Beckham 2B, Abreu 1B, Viciedo LF, Ramirez SS, Konerko DH, Gillaspie 3B, Sierra RF, Flowers C.
Plays of the Day
Last night’s doubleheader…
Game 1: Jose Abreu smashed his 26th homer, a three-run shot in the first inning, reached 67 RBI and extended his hitting streak to 15 in the 8-4 loss to the Angels. As a result he become the only player in MLB history to hit 26 home runs in his first 71 games and through last night was tied for the major-league lead with the Orioles’ Nelson Cruz in both HRs and RBI. Here’s No. 26:
Game 2: Conor Gillaspie, hitting well above .300 all season, hit his first homer of the year–a two-run blast–and collected three RBI in the 7-5 defeat. Dayan Viciedo added a two-run shot, his ninth, and Abreu ran his hitting streak to 16 on a first-inning single.
The Gillaspie and Viciedo homers and a spectacular Adam Eaton-being-Adam Eaton catch in the eighth inning:
Jose Rookie of the Month–Again
Abreu has been named the American League Rookie of the Month for June. He batted .313 with 10 home runs, 22 RBI and a .677 slugging percentage in 25 game to become the first player in Sox history to win the award twice in one season. He also became the third player in club annals to hit 10 or more homers in a month twice in one season, joining Jim Thome (twice in 2006) and Frank Thomas (twice in 1993).
Despite missing 14 games this season while on the disabled list, Abreu leads the major leagues in slugging percentage (.627) and at-bats per home run (10.73), is tied for the lead in home runs (26) and RBI (67) and ranks among the leaders in extra-base hits (3rd, 44), total bases (5th, 175) and OPS (7th, .956).
Abreu is on pace to hit 50 home runs, which would break the White Sox franchise record of 49 set by Albert Belle in 1998 and the major-league rookie record of 49 set by Mark McGwire in 1987. In addition to the major-league record for homers in his first 71 career games, his 67 RBI are tied with Wally Berger (1930) and Joe DiMaggio (1936) for the sixth-highest total in history by a player in his first 71.
Abreu owns a 16-game hitting streak (.344, 22-64), the longest active streak in the major leagues and tied for the ninth-longest by a rookie in White Sox history.
He was named AL Player and Rookie of the Month for April after recording 10 home runs and 32 RBI, joining former Cuban teammate Yasiel Puig (June 2013) as the only players to win both awards in their first month in the major leagues.
Time’s Running Out
All-Star voting ends tomorrow night at 11:59 p.m. So, it’s not too late to vote for Abreu and Alexei Ramirez to make sure they both are in Minneapolis for the July 15 Midsummer Classic.
Boston Boosts Jose
Sox coach Daryl Boston makes it clear that he thinks Abreu is a bonafide All-Star.
Sox Notes of Note
After a slow start, prized third base prospect Matt Davidson (pictured below) had an impressive month of June for Class AAA Charlotte. He hit a team-high nine home runs, including two on Monday night, and drove in 14. He has 15 long ones on the season… Tyler Saladino, leading Charlotte with a .304 average, was elected to the 2014 International League All-Star squad as the team’s starting shortstop. Saladino will represent the Knights at the 27th annual Triple-A All-Star Game on July 16 in Durham, N.C… Jacob May, a 2013 third-round draft pick now playing with Class A Winston-Salem, has been named the Carolina League Player of the Week after hitting .533 with four doubles, two triples, 12 runs scored and nine stolen bases in seven games…the Sox have released Charlotte reliever Mitchell Boggs. He’s been replaced on the Knights roster by reliever Henry Rodriguez…also, we have claimed RHP Angel Sanchez, listed as the No. 16 prospect for Miami this season, off of waivers from Tampa Bay. He’s been assigned to Class A Winston-Salem.
Quote of the Day
Angels’ manager Mike Sciosia on Abreu:
“His power plays in the Grand Canyon.”
Off day. On Friday, White Sox vs. Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field (6:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game holiday weekend series. Starters: LHP Chris Sale (7-1, 2.30) for the Sox, LHP Roenis Elias (7-6, 3.96) for Seattle.
Photo of the Day
Conor rounds the bases after home run No. 1.