Chicago White Sox

Red-hot Jose Abreu finishes home run shy of second cycle in three games

Red-hot Jose Abreu finishes home run shy of second cycle in three games

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Jose Abreu is locked in like its 2014 again.

About the only thing White Sox slugger hasn’t done of late is complete that pesky second cycle. But otherwise he’s performing similar to how he did when he was the unanimous American League rookie of the year.

Abreu finished a home run shy of yet another cycle on Monday night only two days after he achieved the feat for the first time in his career. He batted with two outs in the ninth inning of an 11-3 White Sox victory over the Kansas City Royals with a chance to accomplish the feat once again but drew a walk against reliever Trevor Cahill. Abreu finished 4-for-5 with a double, triple, walk and two RBIs as he continued a torrid stretch.

“We were sitting in anticipation watching the at-bat,” manager Rick Renteria said. “It would have been unique to see something like that happen again.

“He’s been swinging the bat very, very well. Great at-bats, great approaches. He’s doing everything he needs to do to give himself a chance.

“He has been a pretty good tear of late.”

Though he’s had his moments, Abreu hasn’t been this good since his rookie season. With two singles already under his belt, Abreu tripled in a run in the sixth inning on Monday, his career-best 74th extra-base hit of the season. An inning later, Abreu doubled with one to give him 75 extra base hits and an unheard of second shot at the cycle about 48 hours after he legged out a triple in the eighth inning to complete the first one.

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About the only question left is whether or not Abreu -- who entered Monday with a 1.208 OPS in 33 September plate appearances -- would have another chance. Rookie Yoan Moncada, who had the first three-hit game of his career, ensured that when he legged out a grounder to second to avoid hitting into an inning-ending double play.

Abreu’s teammates made sure he wasn’t oblivious about the possibility as he headed to the plate.

“I knew because everybody around me was telling me, ‘Go for the homer, go for the homer,’ ” Abreu said through an interpreter.

Abreu said he primarily looked for a changeup from Cahill. He got one on the righty’s second offering and fouled it back. Abreu fouled off two more pitches before he ultimately drew an eight-pitch walk.

The slugger is 10-for-13 with two doubles, two triples, three homers, eight RBIs and two walks in his past three games. He’s hitting .306/.358/.564 with 31 homers and 92 RBIs in 603 plate appearances this season.

“My routine right now is working pretty good,” Abreu said. “I also have to thank the guys because they have been doing their job too and that has helped me perform and get the results I have right now.”

Geovany Soto details ‘total destruction’ of Puerto Rico after speaking with family

Geovany Soto details ‘total destruction’ of Puerto Rico after speaking with family

Geovany Soto’s family in Puerto Rico is safe after Hurricane Maria slammed into the island, leaving at least 24 people dead and virtually all residents without power.

The White Sox catcher said he spoke to his family Wednesday on the phone and they were in good spirits. Soto’s mom, dad and in-laws are in San Juan, Puerto Rico, while his wife and kids are with him in the U.S.

Soto said it’s “total destruction” on the island right now, and the best thing he can do to assist is sending necessary items.

“It’s really tough,” Soto said. “I talked to my parents and the toughest part is you have the money, you can buy batteries but there’s nothing left. So, the best thing I could probably do is kind of from over here is sending batteries, sending anything that I can think of that’s valuable for them right now.” 

Puerto Rico is still in emergency protocol as rescue efforts continue two days after the storm plowed onto land as a Category 4 hurricane. Just seeing the images was hard for Soto. 

"It was unbelievable," he said "You know it’s coming. It’s an island. It’s not like you can evacuate and go where? We don’t have a road that goes to Florida. It is what it is. We try to do the best that we can do with the preparation that they gave us. After you’ve done everything you just kind of brace yourself and keep good spirits and hope for the best."

Soto usually travels to Puerto Rico after the season, but because of the damage, he has yet to make a decision on when, or if, he'll go. 

The veteran catcher is the only Puerto Rican player on the Sox, but manager Rick Renteria's wife also has family on the island. 

"They're doing fine, thankfully," Renteria said. "I think that we expect to hear a little bit more in the next couple days."

Carson Fulmer wants one more start for White Sox this season

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USA TODAY

Carson Fulmer wants one more start for White Sox this season

Carson Fulmer doesn’t want his last start of the season to be one in which he recorded only one out, but another appearance isn’t guaranteed quite yet.

The White Sox 2015 first-round pick was forced from Thursday night’s game after struggling with a blister on his throwing hand. He lasted only three batters, two of which he walked.

“Obviously, nothing’s really wrong with me physically,” Fulmer said. “Arm feels great, body feels awesome, just a blister that got kind of raw. I just need to take a couple days, let it come back and make my next start.”

Whether he gets the ball again depends on the healing process. With only eight games remaining, Rick Renteria won’t commit to giving the 23-year-old another start until he knows the blister won’t be an issue.

“It’d be premature for me to say anything about that,” Renteria said. “Obviously when you’re holding the baseball in a very sensitive spot with your fingers, you got to be able to feel comfortable with it.”

The blister came during Fulmer’s best stretch in the majors. He threw six innings in each of his past two starts, allowing only one earned run in both. On his Sept. 10 start against the Giants, he whiffed a career-high nine batters.

Despite having to, in essence, miss Thursday’s start, Fulmer isn’t worried about being taken out of his groove.

“I don’t think my momentum is going to go anywhere,” he said. “The bullpen I threw yesterday before the game was really, really good. Just had some issues with some of the stuff that was covering it, started cutting some balls here and there and it was tough to throw a cutter sometimes just because of the pressure I put on it.”

Even with the White Sox seemingly taking a cautious approach to protect their young prospects, each start is valuable experience for Fulmer. He will likely be competing against the likes of Michael Kopech, Reynaldo Lopez and possible veteran free agent signings for a back end rotation spot come Spring Training, and pitching well against big league hitting now could go a long way in securing the role.

"I threw 160, 170 innings this year and haven't had an issue with (injury)," Fulmer said. 

"I'm going to do everything I can to get back out there."