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Sox sweep DH on Abreu's walk-off HR in 12th

Moncada, Cordell each go deep twice in nightcap
@scottmerkin
July 4, 2019

CHICAGO -- About the only thing going wrong for the White Sox during a split-doubleheader sweep of the Tigers on Wednesday at Guaranteed Rate Field was Jose Abreu not getting one of his own bobbleheads given away in Game 1. Abreu certainly earned this gift, at the very least, after

CHICAGO -- About the only thing going wrong for the White Sox during a split-doubleheader sweep of the Tigers on Wednesday at Guaranteed Rate Field was Jose Abreu not getting one of his own bobbleheads given away in Game 1.

Abreu certainly earned this gift, at the very least, after punctuating one of the best days of White Sox baseball in recent memory with a three-run walk-off home run in the 12th inning of a 9-6 victory in the nightcap. Abreu’s 3-2 blast off of Nick Ramirez was his first walk-off blast since launching a grand slam off Tampa Bay’s Grant Balfour on April 25, 2014.

Box score

As the excitement played down after postgame No. 2, Abreu made it clear what he thinks Wednesday says about the White Sox future and where he wanted to be when that future arrives.

“We have a lot of talent," said Abreu through interpreter Billy Russo. "I want to be part of this organization going forward because I know we are going to be very, very good and I think you can see that right now.”

In the 12th inning, Abreu was already checking Ramirez and noticed the left-hander had a good changeup. Ramirez got a swinging strike from Abreu earlier in that at-bat off the change, but Abreu adjusted and pulled the game-winner down the line for his 20th home run, raising his RBI total to 63.

“It’s something very special,” Abreu said. “It was very special, especially because today -- the doubleheader and the situation -- winning this game, and I was able to hit that homer.”

“Pito’s a leader. He's a veteran on this team,” third baseman Yoán Moncada said of Abreu. “He's always trying to find ways for us to get better. And we need him. We need him here because he makes us better.”

Moncada and Ryan Cordell each homered twice during the nightcap, with Cordell also making two run-saving catchers in center field. Moncada became the 10th player in franchise history to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game, and his second homer came with one out in the 10th off of All-Star closer Shane Greene, traveling 462 feet and tying the game at six.

All of these theatrics followed a 7-5 victory in Game 1, in which Dylan Cease, the No. 18 prospect overall, per MLB Pipeline, made his Major League debut and picked up his first career victory with six strikeouts in five innings.

The White Sox have won five of their last six and improved to 13-5 in their last 18 home games. They are 23-13 at home since April 15 and moved to 41-42 overall. The record is certainly nice to look at for a rebuilding team with a combined 195 losses over the past two seasons.

But it’s the way the White Sox are winning games, with their young core leading the way, that’s producing major optimism around the organization. It’s one of the many reasons why Abreu, who can become a free agent after the current campaign, doesn’t want to leave Chicago.

“If I would be the owner, I would sign myself here,” said a smiling Abreu. “Hopefully, yes, I want to stay here.”

“Today he put an explanation point by finishing the ballgame,” said White Sox manager Rick Renteria. “It completed a positive day for us. You had a lot of the pieces that are within the organization that are shining and doing well. I know it's one day, two games, but it's a movement in the right direction.”

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.