José Abreu was within a home run of 200 for his stellar White Sox career by bonding for a third inning grand slam against Angels Andrew Heaney during a 12-8 win at Angel Stadium on Friday night. It was Abreu’s third career Grand Slam.
The White Sox didn’t have a hit against Heaney until Yermín Mercedes hit the center with a hit in the third hit. This was his first career hit and one of the most impressive 5v5 appearances that night. Mercedes moved left to second place on Nick Madrigal’s single and the inning stayed alive when third baseman Anthony Rendon bobbed Tim Anderson’s grounder slightly and only got out in second place.
Luis Robert fought for a seven-pitch walk and Abreu bonded on the next pitch for his blast to the center right.
“That’s what he should do, be patient, feel good at home, have a plan because we know what he can do in the field,” said Abreu of Robert’s previous attack by interpreter Billy Russo. “That was a great blow. There he showed his maturity.
“My homer was in part because of the bat he took. He was the one who set the tone for me, and I have to recognize that, I have to attribute that to him. Either way, it feels good to see him take that approach, take those bats, be patient, and be comfortable. This is important to him because we know that if he can do that, he will produce at the level that we all know he can. “
Abreu has led the American League in RBIs for the last two seasons and has raced 64 runs in his last 62 regular season games. He would be the fifth player to complete 200 home runs with the White Sox, along with Frank Thomas (448), Paul Konerko (432), Harold Baines (221) and Carlton Fisk (214).
Another homerun would also make him the sixth Cuban born player to hit 200 for his career. Rafael Palmeiro (569), Jose Canseco (462), Tony Perez (379), Tony Oliva (220) and Kendrys Morales (213) have reached this plateau.
“A real honor. It will definitely be an incredible achievement, ”said Abreu. “But you know what? I have to thank the Chicago White Sox and Jerry Reinsdorf for giving me the opportunity to sign here and play here. And of course my mother, my father.”