Jose Abreu already has opposition’s respect
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter April 3, 2014 10:43PM
It hasn’t taken Jose Abreu long to gain respect.
The White Sox first baseman drove in five runs in his first series in the major leagues, including four with a double and a triple Thursday. He’s batting .417 (5-for-12), an average that might be higher if Twins manager Ron Gardenhire hadn’t intentionally walked the Cuban slugger in the ninth and 11th innings of the White Sox’ 7-6 victory Wednesday.
For the 27-year-old rookie, it marked the first time a player had a two-intentional-walk game within his first two major-league games since 1955, when the statistic was first tracked.
“We know he’s good, he knows he’s good and, again, you let him show everybody,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “You just let his bat talk for him.’’
Abreu’s bases-loaded triple off the center-field wall Thursday came after Anthony Swarzak got him to swing at two low sliders. The third pitch was outside, but Abreu leaned out and crushed it, breaking a 5-5 tie.
De Aza’s home-run binge
Dayan Viciedo can’t like his chances of getting more playing time in left with Alejandro De Aza hitting home runs every other day. De Aza hit his third in three games.
Viciedo had a key pinch single in the ninth inning of the Sox’ 7-6 win in 11 innings Wednesday.
“It’s not an easy situation,’’ Ventura said. “De Aza looks good, too. We’re going to have to find places for both of them. Right now, De Aza is probably going to get most of that just because of who we’re facing [right-handed pitching]. But I don’t see Tank sitting very long.’’
Viciedo, who’s 2-for-3, pinch-hit for De Aza in the ninth and blooped a double. He advanced to third on an error but was stranded as the tying run.
The Sox are offering a complimentary ticket to any home game this month for any fan who held a ticket to Thursday’s game. The offer is good whether the fan attended the game or was kept away by the cold and rain. The tickets can be redeemed at the U.S. Cellular Field ticket office. Attendance (tickets sold) was announced at 11,056, but the crowd appeared to be less than 2,000. The game-time temperature was 37 degrees and falling.
This and that
Adam Dunn homered for the second time in two games. He tied Dave Kingman (442) for 38th place on the all-time home-run list.
◆ Tyler Flowers, who had a career-high four hits (singles) in four at-bats, was pinch-hit for by Paul Konerko in the ninth.