Jose Abreu hammers White Sox to victory over A's

Jose Abreu hammers White Sox to victory over A's
May 14, 2014, 5:45 pm
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OAKLAND — Robin Ventura has a better appreciation for Earl Weaver’s love of the three-run homer after Wednesday afternoon.

Looking for a big hit late, Jose Abreu delivered a monstrous three-run homer that would have made the legendary Baltimore Orioles manager proud. Abreu’s three-run homer off the facing of the second deck in left field lifted the White Sox to a 4-2 win over the Oakland A’s in front of 18,035 at O.co Coliseum.

The stunning victory helped the White Sox avoid a series sweep at Oakland and also snapped a four-game losing streak.

Through 42 games, Abreu leads the majors with 15 home runs. He is also one of four players in major league history to have at least 15 homers through the first 42 games of his career.

Two of those blasts, including Wednesday’s, have put the White Sox ahead late.

The White Sox trailed 2-1 when Abreu stepped to the plate to face Luke Gregerson in the eighth inning with runners on the corners and one out. Down 0-1 in the count, Abreu pounced on an 88-mph fastball and ripped it out to left with the ball violently ricocheting back toward the field after it smacked into the façade separating the two decks.

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Gordon Beckham, who went 3-for-4 and provided the Sox only other run with a leadoff homer in the first, and Conor Gillaspie scored after each had singled. Gillaspie also finished 3-for-4.

The White Sox offense has been stymied for most of the series in Oakland, and Wednesday was no different. Aside from Beckham’s homer in the first and Gillaspie’s fifth-inning double that led to Beckham getting thrown out at the plate, Tommy Millone kept the White Sox off-balance.

Millone allowed a run and five hits over six innings.

White Sox starter Andre Rienzo pitched well but earned a no-decision even though he held the A’s to a pair of solo homers. John Jaso also hit a leadoff homer in the first, and Josh Donaldson put Oakland ahead, 2-1, in the fourth when he drove one the opposite way to right.

Those were the only two hits Rienzo allowed as he walked two and struck out four over 6 1/3 innings.

White Sox relievers combined for 2 2/3 scoreless innings to close it out. Ronald Belisario picked up the win with 1 1/3 innings, while Matt Lindstrom closed it out despite allowing the first two men on to start the ninth.