DENVER -- Jose Abreu’s mom continues to impact his career in positive ways.
The woman who inspired Abreu to wear No. 79 because people would always remember it was widely credited by the White Sox slugger Tuesday night for his two-homer performance, including the first home run of his major league career.
Abreu, who homered in the seventh and eighth innings of a 15-3 White Sox win over the Colorado Rockies, said his mother, Daisys, who is out of the country, called him early Tuesday to offer advice. The first baseman, who Monday told reporters he wasn’t stressed, that the home runs would come soon, admitted he was pressing some before his mother’s calming words.
“She called me early in the day and said ‘Hey just take it easy, take it one day at a time,’ ” Abreu said through the team’s manager of cultural development, Lino Diaz. “That gave me a lot of strength and confidence to go through the day.”
Mom would mighty proud of how Abreu got it done.
Two innings after he popped out with runners on second and third and one out in a tight game, Abreu broke the contest open with a three-run homer off Rockies reliever Chad Bettis. The most impressive part of the drive, which gave the White Sox a 7-2 lead, was that it occurred on the 12th pitch of the at-bat. Abreu had gone hitless in his previous 11 at-bats before the homer.
“I fought for that,” Abreu said. “She gave me a lot of confidence to do that. It was an at-bat that changed the result of the game. It gets you in the right mindset, the right momentum.”
The momentum shifted heavily in the favor of the White Sox as they scored 11 times in the final three innings. Abreu partook in the rally twice as he followed a Marcus Semien double in the eighth inning with a monster home run to right-center field that bounced against the back wall of the bullpen.
“He’s more than a slugger,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He’s proven to us when he’s been in spring training. His approach is a little more mental the other way. He can pull it. He hits it a long way if he gets a hold of it. Most of his stuff is professional-type hitting. It’s not just going up there, swinging as hard as you can. He’s just a good hitter.”
And he owes some of it to his mother.
“I’m very happy and mom should be very happy with her two home runs,” Abreu said.