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Jose Abreu earns AL Player, Rookie of the Month awards

Updated: September 6, 2014 6:27AM



White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu was named American League Player and Rookie of the Month for July, the second time he claimed both honors in the same month.

Abreu is the first rookie to be named Player of the Month twice in a season and the fourth to be named Rookie of the Month three or more times, joining Ichiro Suzuki (four in 2001), Mike Trout (four in 2012) and Jason Bay (three in 2004).

Abreu batted .374 with six home runs, 19 RBI, a .432 on-base percentage and .667 slugging percentage in 25 games. He led the AL in average, doubles (11), slugging percentage, OPS (1.099), extra-base hits (17) and total bases (66) while hitting safely in 24 of 25 games.

“It’s not surprising,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “You’re happy for him. He’s had a great month, and he gets rewarded for it.’’

Through Sunday, Abreu, 27, led the majors in homers (31), RBI (84) and slugging percentage (.627) and was second in OPS (.988), extra-base hits (60) and total bases (239). Ventura recognized Abreu’s talent in spring training but wouldn’t have been surprised had there been more bumps along the way in his first season since coming over from Cuba.

“I don’t know that anyone really envisions this,’’ Ventura said. “When you saw and heard the ball coming off his bat, you understand his power.’’

Maikel Cleto, Take 2

Right-hander Maikel Cleto’s contract was purchased from Class AAA Charlotte, filling the spot vacated by Taylor Thompson, whose brief stay ended Sunday after the bullpen was rocked for 15 runs by the Minnesota Twins.

Cleto made the Opening Day roster after he was claimed off waivers from the Kansas City Royals. In 14 2/3 innings, he posted a 5.14 ERA and was designated for assignment May 10. His ERA at Charlotte (5.91) was worse, but he pitched well enough of late to merit another try with a bullpen that is one of the worst in baseball. A power arm, Cleto (3-0) struck out 50 in 22 appearances covering 35 innings. In his last five appearances over 7 2/3 innings, he has not allowed a run.

This and that

Right-hander Zach Putnam (shoulder inflammation) will throw in Charlotte on Tuesday, Robin Ventura said, and is on track to come off the disabled list Friday in Seattle.

◆ Avisail Garcia, who was hit by a pitch in the left triceps area Sunday, should be back in action on his rehab assignment at Charlotte on Tuesday.

◆ Pitching coach Don Cooper wasn’t feeling well before Monday’s game and returned home. Cooper, who missed 11 games July 20-31 with vertigo, returned to the team for the weekend series against the Twins.

Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com

Twitter: CST_soxvan



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