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For Abreu, near-cycle dimmed by 'tough' loss

MLB.com @scottmerkin

ARLINGTON -- White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu wasn't thinking about the double needed to hit for the cycle when he stepped to the plate in the ninth inning of a 17-7 loss to the Rangers Saturday night at Globe Life Park.

Derek Holland, who was long gone from his start by the time Abreu hit near 11 p.m. CT, couldn't stop thinking about a second straight miserable trip to the mound. Good or bad, these are the sorts of games the White Sox expect during the course of a now 46-74 rebuilding season.

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ARLINGTON -- White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu wasn't thinking about the double needed to hit for the cycle when he stepped to the plate in the ninth inning of a 17-7 loss to the Rangers Saturday night at Globe Life Park.

Derek Holland, who was long gone from his start by the time Abreu hit near 11 p.m. CT, couldn't stop thinking about a second straight miserable trip to the mound. Good or bad, these are the sorts of games the White Sox expect during the course of a now 46-74 rebuilding season.

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But even with a big-picture view and hope for light at the end of the tunnel, the losses don't become any easier.

"We are not here to lose games," said Abreu through interpreter Billy Russo. "We came here every day with a purpose and that purpose is to win games.

"It's tough. It's tough when you lose, even when you lose by one run or the manner which we lost today. But you have to learn from the losses. You have to find things to learn from them and to try to correct and to apply the next game."

Ten hitters came to the plate during a five-run White Sox first inning off Texas starter Martin Perez. Abreu singled during that rally, tripled and scored in the fifth and homered in the seventh.

Video: CWS@TEX: Abreu gets triple as Choo can't locate ball

In that leadoff at-bat in the ninth, Abreu pulled a broken-bat single into left to match his career high with a fourth hit. He has hit in eight straight games with five home runs, eight RBIs and six multi-hit efforts during the streak.

Instead of thinking about making individual history, Abreu simply was trying to keep his hands inside the ball.

"You know, unfortunately we are passing through a bad moment," Abreu said. "It doesn't matter what you perform on the field. If the team is not winning, you are not going to feel good or happy.

"Fortunately for us, today's game is over. And now we have to think about tomorrow's game."

Holland made his first start at Globe Life as a visitor, writing "thank you" on the back of the mound in tribute to the great memories he had pitching for the Rangers. He won't have many great memories from Saturday, allowing seven runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings.

It was good for Holland to be back in Texas, but his theme was similar to Abreu's. His ultimate goal is to do better for his team.

"That's really what means more to me right now is my team and being able to help them, do my part to stay in the game longer and pitch better than I have been," Holland said. "These guys have been working their [tails] off to be where they are right now, and for me to not do my job is just upsetting."

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.

Chicago White Sox, Jose Abreu