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Abreu finds redemption with two-run homer

June 26, 2019

BOSTON -- After faulting himself for allowing the Red Sox to come back on Monday night, José Abreu cashed in a redemption ticket on Wednesday afternoon. After seeing his team squander yet another late lead, the White Sox first baseman came to the plate in the top of the ninth

BOSTON -- After faulting himself for allowing the Red Sox to come back on Monday night, José Abreu cashed in a redemption ticket on Wednesday afternoon.

After seeing his team squander yet another late lead, the White Sox first baseman came to the plate in the top of the ninth with a runner on base and his team trailing by a run.

Battling against Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes, Abreu quickly saw the count run to 1-2 before fouling off six pitches that were separated in the middle by a ball. On the 10th pitch of the at-bat, Abreu crushed Barnes' 96-mph fastball for a majestic two-run homer over the Green Monster to help his team escape the clutches of defeat with an 8-7 victory at Fenway Park.

Box score

"At this level, you know you need to make adjustments pitch-by-pitch," Abreu said through an interpreter. "That's what I was trying to do in that at-bat. I tip my cap to the Red Sox, because they put up a good fight."

"Fortunately for us he was battling some tough pitches out of the zone a little bit maybe and got that last pitch he wanted and was able to drive it out of the ballpark," said White Sox manager Rick Renteria. "He hit it very well. Great at-bat."

For Abreu, who went 3-for-5 with four RBIs on the day, the long ball was his 19th of the season, and traveled a projected distance of 401 feet with an exit velocity of 105 mph, per Statcast.

"In the entire at-bat, the only mistake I made was the one he hit," said Barnes. "It's unfortunate. I executed damn-near every single pitch that I wanted to him, and the one that didn't get there, he hit a home run. That's tough to swallow when you execute 90 percent of the time, and the one time costs you the game."

"Him coming through in the big spot, that's what he does," catcher James McCann added. "That's the guy you want at the plate in that situation with that opportunity and he came through today."

McCann was also able to do a little campaigning on the day, as the All-Star hopeful in the midst of the Starter's Election (which closes at 3 p.m. CT on Friday) went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs.

"You're just focused on the game at-hand, each at-bat and doing everything you can to help the team win," said McCann, who is hitting a team-best .328 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs.

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The visitors jumped all over Red Sox ace Chris Sale early, seeing all nine batters get to the plate in the first inning as they plated three, followed by another two in the third.

Boston would stay within reach, answering with runs of its own each time the White Sox would score, but it would be a three-run eighth that allowed the hosts to tie the game and take the lead on a Xander Bogaerts two-run single.

"You look at this whole series and it was back and forth from the first game," said McCann. "We'd put up two, they put up two. We'd put up one, they put up one. It was just kind of weird how it worked that way."

Despite allowing the go-ahead run after coming on the eighth, closer Alex Colomé shut the door in the ninth, retiring the last three batters after allowing a leadoff walk.

"He's not a guy that lets it bother him," said Renteria. "We put ourselves in a situation where I'm going to try and finish it out with my best. All that happens, he comes in, he's ready to go back out. Our guys kept battling."

Moncada, Anderson status remains uncertain

For the second straight game, the White Sox saw one of their starting infielders get injured after third baseman Yoán Moncada took a Sale slider off the inside of his right knee in the first inning.

After the training staff came out to check on him, Moncada went down to first base, but he was removed from the game after going from first-to-third on an Abreu double. Yolmer Sanchez replaced him in the game.

"What I was told was initially it hit him on the top of the kneecap, more muscle than anything," said Renteria. "So he should be fine, probably just a pretty good bruise. He's another one that we'll see how he's doing tomorrow."

Tim Anderson is also still in the evaluation process after spraining his right ankle in Tuesday night's game at Fenway.

Wearing a walking boot prior to the game, the White Sox shortstop was walking with a visible limp postgame, as he continues to ice and rest the injury until further notice.

"We're going to get the images, we took an MRI today, we'll evaluate those," said Renteria. "I think everything will be announced on Friday in terms of how we proceed, where we're at, time-table."

"I kind of felt a little pop and it scared me a little bit. We're still waiting to see what it is," said Anderson, who added that felt better 24 hours after the injury. "It's just part of the story. I just have to try and get back out there, take it a day at a time and keep working."

Right fielder Charlie Tillson was also forced to exit Wednesday's game in the seventh inning with flu-like symptoms.