Chicago White Sox: Wally Berger

Jose Abreu turns page with 20th home run

June, 18, 2014
Jun 18
7:14
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Nothing gets you out of the doghouse faster than a two-run homer one at-bat after raising some eyebrows.

After Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura chided Jose Abreu late Tuesday night for not running on a dropped third strike, the rookie sensation clubbed a home run on his first at-bat Wednesday against the San Francisco Giants. The White Sox went on to a 7-6 victory.

Abreu’s first home run in a week made him the third-fastest player to reach 20 home runs in major league history. Only Wally Berger (1930) and Mark McGwire (1986-87) got there quicker.

“He wasn’t going to spend a whole lot of time [thinking] about it,” Ventura said. “That’s part of the game we can take care of real easy.”

[+] EnlargeJose Abreu
David Banks/Getty Images

Only Wally Berger (51 games in 1930) and Mark McGwire (56 games, 1986-87) reached 20 career home runs quicker than White Sox rookie Jose Abreu did in his 58th game.

Before the game, Abreu was contrite, vowing to never let his oversight happen again. After striking out in the seventh inning Tuesday night, Abreu walked to the dugout instead of running to first base when the third strike got away.

“Those are things that I forget, I leave behind,” Abreu said through an interpreter after the game. “That just happened yesterday. I learned from it and I keep going. Those are the things that happen. Those are [challenges] in life. They happen, things like that happen, and you just found it in front of you, and you've just got to learn from it and keep going.”

One of Abreu’s better traits has been the ability to live in the present. He doesn’t seem to carry his issues from game to game, at-bat to at-bat or even pitch to pitch. He recovers and moves on, which seems to be key in avoiding prolonged slumps.

Abreu’s strength has been attacking pitches away, but on his home run Wednesday he was able to get his hands inside of a Tim Hudson offering and pulled it into the White Sox's bullpen in left field. It didn’t hurt that the pitch was a changeup.

When Abreu talks about his ability to cover so much of the plate, he does so matter-of-factly.

“No, I mean really that’s just things that happen,” he said. “I do my job every day, get ready to play. I prepare just as the pitchers are preparing. Scouting reports are what they are, but you still have to go out there and get it done. I just thank God that I have been able to do what I've done.”

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jose Abreu
BA HR RBI R
.317 36 107 80
OTHER LEADERS
HRJ. Abreu 36
RBIJ. Abreu 107
RA. Ramirez 82
OPSJ. Abreu .964
WC. Sale 12
ERAC. Sale 2.17
SOC. Sale 208