CHICAGO -- José Abreu homered in an MLB-record-tying fourth straight at-bat, off a fourth Cubs pitcher, when he connected against Yu Darvish in the second inning of Sunday’s 2-1 White Sox loss at Wrigley Field. Abreu's feat was the 43rd time in MLB history a player has gone deep in four consecutive at-bats.
A slightly more subdued Abreu spoke during a postgame Zoom call on Sunday, seemingly pleased with the accomplishment but wishing the White Sox had completed the sweep with an eighth straight win.
“That’s just a result of the work I put in day in and day out,” said Abreu through interpreter Billy Russo. “I’m never satisfied with what I do. I always think I can do better. I can do more. That’s why I work so hard.
“It definitely feels good to have something like that. I would rather have the win today. We battled. We did our best, and we just came up short. It was a good game. I’m happy for what I did, but it’s a little bittersweet because we didn’t get the win.”
Abreu’s 449-foot blast with a 107.6-mph exit velocity, per Statcast, gave him the American League lead with 11 home runs and 28 RBIs. He hit six home runs in the series against the Cubs, with two Friday and three Saturday, marking the most by a White Sox player in any series in franchise history. Abreu also tied the Cardinals' Matt Carpenter for the most in a series against the Cubs, though Carpenter accomplished it in a five-game set.
Sunday's home run marked the 12th of the series for the White Sox. It also gave the White Sox offense 55 runs scored on 83 hits and 28 home runs in their last 63 innings. Abreu has 189 career home runs, leaving him fifth in franchise history, with Carlton Fisk next on the list at 214.
“I didn’t change my approach or my plan,” Abreu said. “I still went to home plate to get those at-bats with my same mindset and same plan, because I know what I need to do to get results. Those homers didn’t affect my plan or my mind.”
Added Cubs manager David Ross: “I've not seen too many guys as hot as he is right now.”
Cubs pitchers Jon Lester, Jason Adam, Kyle Hendricks, Rowan Wick, Duane Underwood Jr. and Darvish, who were victimized by Abreu homers this weekend, can support Ross’ assessment. The MLB record for most home runs in a three-game stretch is seven, by former Dodger Shawn Green. Abreu is the sixth player in history to homer six times in a three-game stretch, most recently accomplished by Jeff DaVanon on June 1, 3 and 4, 2003.
For the series, Abreu’s OPS checked in at 2.726. Per Elias, the last time a hitter reached that mark in a three-game set (with a minimum of 12 plate appearances) was Max Muncy vs. Atlanta from June 8-10, 2018. Only six times has a player cracked 3.000 in a three-game set.
“This guy is as diligent in his work, preparation as he goes about his business, he is even-keeled every single day,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He wants to give you what he has.
“He is one of the most underrated guys in Chicago. He shouldn’t be. He has earned it. He earns everything he gets. We’re happy with the way he goes about and hopefully being recognized.”