In July of 1991, Robin Ventura had 33 RBIs -- a number that stands as the second highest monthly total in White Sox history. But with four RBIs on Sunday, Jose Abreu has 31 and still has three games left in April.
That is, as Ventura joked after the game, if he chooses to play him.
"Yeah, he's not playing for the next five days," Ventura dryly quipped.
Abreu's broken a few records in his sensational first month in the major leagues, with his ninth home run of the season -- a walk-off grand slam on Friday -- breaking the record for most home runs by a rookie in April previously held by Albert Pujols, Carlos Delgado and Kent Hrbek. On Sunday, Abreu set the major league record for most RBIs by a rookie in April, blowing by the 27 RBIs Pujols had in the season's first month in 2001.
No White Sox player has ever had more RBIs in the month of April, with Paul Konerko holding the previous record with 28 in 2002. And Abreu leads the majors with those 31 RBIs, the product of 1.056 OPS with runners on base entering Sunday (that only increased with his two-run home run and two-run single against the Rays).
"I really don’t go looking for records, but they’re definitely welcome," Abreu said through a translator after the White Sox beat Tampa Bay, 9-2. "But that’s not something that I go looking for, but it’s a nice thing."
While Abreu said last week he tried to not set expectations for himself prior to his first season in the majors, he admitted Sunday what he's been "surprised" by what he's accomplished in April.
"All I try to do is make good contact and they have been coming out," Abreu said, "but we’ll continue to do the same and if they come out and if they don’t, then we’ll continue to work hard."