CHICAGO -- If there was a model of consistency drawn up for a Major League hitter, White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu would merit strong consideration for that prototype.Abreu's three hits, including his eighth home run, in Saturday's victory raised his current hitting streak to 10 games. He now has
CHICAGO -- If there was a model of consistency drawn up for a Major League hitter, White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu would merit strong consideration for that prototype.
Abreu's three hits, including his eighth home run, in Saturday's victory raised his current hitting streak to 10 games. He now has 10 hitting streaks of 10 or more games since joining the White Sox, tying him with Jose Altuve, Charlie Blackmon and Daniel Murphy for the most of that length since 2014.
So what makes Abreu, who hit .447 in his previous 10 games before Sunday's series finale against the Rangers, such a consistent force? According to White Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson, it's in part due to the consistency of his approach.
"That is it really, the consistency of what he does every day," Steverson said. "His routine stays real consistent. He has a pretty regimented routine, even outside the cage.
"This game can bring you down really easily. It isn't easy to get a hit in the big leagues, so really, I say the belief in himself and understanding of what he wants to do when he gets to the plate [is key]."
Steverson also listed Abreu's balance to hand-eye coordination as a strong suit.
"The position he gets himself in consistently over and over and over again and the ability to read pitches and spray his hands around the whole strike zone [is impressive]," Steverson said. "Outside, up, down, in. He can touch them all."
"He's just a mentally strong individual," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He's consistent. He doesn't get too high. He doesn't get too low. He personifies a man that understands the complexity of the length of a Major League season and doesn't allow little valleys and/or highs to affect him too much."
Only Frank Thomas has reached 300 career extra-base hits in fewer games than Abreu in White Sox history, with Thomas needing 626 and Abreu getting there on Saturday in 655. Abreu has become a clubhouse leader for a young Chicago club, and his work ethic and on-field approach remain a great example for young players in the organization.
"Everybody knows he's the man," Steverson said. "When he gets to the plate, everybody is like, 'This is our chance.' Whether it happens or not, everybody knows he has that kind of drive, that kind of ability, to turn a game around if he has a chance."
Fry working in high-leverage spots, earns first save
Jace Fry exited Sunday's 3-0 win with the baseball from his first career save and 8 1/3 no-hit innings thrown since joining the White Sox, not to mention 12 strikeouts against two walks. The southpaw threw the eighth and one out into the ninth on Saturday, and then he finished off Reynaldo Lopez's gem Sunday.
After coming back from two Tommy John surgeries, Fry isn't worried about his role as much as the batter at hand.
"I'm at a place where I'm throwing four pitches for strikes," said the 24-year-old reliever. "I'm not going to question anything or think about anything. I'm out there throwing one pitch at a time.
"It's really about just locating and taking the situation into play before I execute each pitch. Seeing if there's a lefty on-deck. Seeing the situation -- runners in scoring position, how close the game is. Paying attention to everything is helping me execute more so than last year."
On Sunday, Fry struck out Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo to close out the White Sox first home series victory this season and leave him with a "giddy" feeling inside after save No. 1.
"I can't believe that it actually happened, now that it's all said and done," Fry said. "Just extremely grateful."
White Sox welcome Honorary Bat Girl
The White Sox honored Esther Sciammarella as Honorary Bat Girl on Sunday. Sciammarella threw out the first pitch in support of the MLB initiative for breast cancer awareness, and catcher Omar Narvaez presented her with a customized jersey. The White Sox were at Wrigley Field last Sunday and unable to honor Sciammarella on Mother's Day.
"We are part of the community and the family of my daughter-in-law are fans, and my grandchildren are fans of the White Sox, so we are very proud to be here today," Sciammarella said. "We are fans of all White Sox things."
Sciammarella is currently the executive director of the Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition and retired as the special assistant to the commissioner for Hispanic Affairs at the Chicago Department of Public Health. A two-time breast cancer survivor, she has been working with the city of Chicago on the breast cancer campaign "Your Life is in Your Hands" since 1998.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.
MLB.com reporter Max Gelman contributed to this story.