OAKLAND — Jose Abreu still has a sore ankle but his stat line might convince you otherwise.
Abreu has run with a noticeable limp for the better part of a week and will make his fifth straight game at designated hitter on Tuesday.
But the ankle hasn’t slowed Abreu down much.
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In the past four games, Abreu is 5-for-15 with two home runs and three RBIs.
On Monday, Abreu became only the seventh player in major league history to hit 14 round-trippers in his first 40 games.
Even though Abreu continues to play well, manager Robin Ventura said Tuesday he plans to rest the slugger one game on either side of the team’s offday on Thursday.
“It’s getting better,” Ventura said. “There’s nothing structurally that you’re concerned about. You just see him limp like that, and its just soreness that’s getting out of there. It’s getting better. I think that day off will probably help.
“We’ll see how goes through (Tuesday), but I’m sure one of them he’ll get.”
Abreu’s homer Monday traveled 396 feet to the bleachers in right field.
With it, he joins Wally Berger (1930), Wally Joyner (1986), Sam Horn (1987), Kevin Maas (1990), Albert Pujols (2001) and Mike Jacobs (2005) as the only players to hit 14 homers through the first 40 games of their careers.
“He has power to all fields,” Ventura said. “Any park you play in, it’s reachable for him anywhere in the park. If he puts it on the barrel, good stuff happens.”
— It’s a natural with left-hander Drew Pomeranz on the mound for Oakland, but it sounds as if Alejandro De Aza would have been given the day off no matter what. De Aza, who misplayed a ball into a triple Sunday, is 0-for-9 in his last three games. He has a .190/.243/.314 slash line for the season.
“He needs a breather, so we’re able to do it today with a lefty going,” Ventura said. “He’s swinging and missing a lot of stuff. Working at-bats and such. He just looks like he needs a day.”
— With three more runs in the ninth inning on Monday, the White Sox are up to 38 in the final frame for the season, a total that leads the majors. Oakland is second with 23. The White Sox are already within seven runs of the 45 they scored in the ninth inning in 2013.