Jose Abreu hits 30th HR as White Sox beat Twins
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter July 25, 2014 10:50PM
Updated: July 25, 2014 11:22PM
MINNEAPOLIS — It seems to be a foregone conclusion that general manager Rick Hahn will be selling rather than buying before the non-waiver trade deadline Thursday.
The White Sox, who hit three home runs in a 9-5 victory Friday night over the Minnesota Twins, are 50-54 and were five games behind in the “race” for the second wild-card spot.
Five games is far from insurmountable. Problem is, five teams have to be climbed over to get there. Only four teams, including the Twins, had worse records in the American League than the Sox going into Friday’s games.
“I’d like to see us get on a little roll, then it would be real fun,’’ designated hitter Adam Dunn said. “A 10-of-12, 12-of-15 kind of deal. See the other guys stumble a little bit.’’
Anything to make games meaningful in August and September.
“You don’t want to go into September [without that],’’ Dunn said. “You don’t have to be in the lead but be no worse than five out. There’s nothing worse than being about 17 down in September.’’
Jose Abreu is doing everything in his considerable power to prevent that from happening. His 427-foot homer, a three-run shot against Kevin Correia in the first inning, got the Sox rolling toward their second consecutive win and sixth in the last nine games. John Danks (9-6) allowed four runs in seven innings.
With a major-league-best 30 homers in the first 89 games of his career, Abreu has hit the 30-homer mark faster than any player in history besides Rudy York (79 games) and Mark McGwire (84). He has 77 RBI.
Dunn may be disappointed if Hahn decides that parting with regulars on this team now is for the greater good of next year and beyond. It’s possible that Dunn (2-for-5 with an RBI and run scored on a sore left foot), who is in the last year of a four-year, $56 million contract, could be dealt to a team seeking a left-handed power bat.
Manager Robin Ventura, asked before the game what he anticipates trade-wise in the days leading up to the deadline, said, ‘‘Not too much,’’ adding the possibilities could increase as Thursday draws nearer.
“When you have a lot of [teams] in the same boat, there can be a lot of talk,’’ Ventura said.
“It might be different closer to the deadline, but right now I don’t see anything happening.’’
The speculation affects almost everyone except Abreu, Avisail Garcia, Chris Sale and Jose Quintana.
“I’m sure it does,’’ Ventura said.
The Sox have only won four in a row once. Ventura said a streak is possible because the starting pitching has been solid.
“You can do that,’’ he said. “We are a little short in the bullpen, but anything is possible.
Friday’s co-stars with Abreu in the Sox’ 17-hit barrage: Tyler Flowers (single, double, homer), Alexei Ramirez (homer, single, three runs), Dayan Viciedo (4-for-5, double, RBI). Abreu extended his hitting streak to 15 and has hit safely in 33 of his last 34 games.
“We’re going to keep grinding,’’ said Danks, who said he is unaffected that teams, including the Yankees, are talking to the Sox about him. “We don’t feel like we’re out of it.’’