No rookie in major league history has accomplished what White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu has in his short stateside career. Abreu's walk-off grand slam off Rays closer Grant Balfour gave him nine home runs in the month of April, breaking a rookie record set by Kent Hrbek, Carlos Delgado and Albert Pujols.
Abreu drove in six runs Friday, giving him 27 for the month of April — tied with Pujols for the most RBIs for a rookie in April in major league history. And Pujols is precisely the guy Abreu said gave him some valuable advice in spring training that he's carried with him through his torrid start to his career with the White Sox.
"I really didn’t have any expectations," Abreu said through a translator after Friday's game. "As a matter of fact I was talking to Pujols during spring training and he told me ‘Hey, don’t worry about hitting the home runs early in the season since it’s your first season and all that. Don’t worry about that. Things will come up.’ So I wasn’t trying to hit them, they have just happened to be here and once again I just have to thank God."
While Pujols has struggled a bit (at least by his standards) since joining the Angels, he's off to as good a start as Abreu — the pair lead the majors with nine home runs. Abreu took notice of Pujols hitting his 500th career home run earlier this week, and took the opportunity Friday night to congratulate the Angels' slugger on his accomplishment.
"We had some great conversations," Abreu said of his time with Pujols in Arizona. "We are both God believers and I want to take the opportunity to send him congratulations for reaching 500 home runs. That’s a great accomplishment and he deserves that and a lot more."