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Abreu reaches 1,000-hit mark in White Sox loss

@scottmerkin
August 25, 2019

CHICAGO -- In a perfect White Sox world, José Abreu's 1,000th career hit would have been a majestic drive over the left-field fence at Guaranteed Rate Field, also producing his fifth 100-RBI season in six years and maybe even a walk-off victory against the Rangers on Saturday night. Instead, Abreu

CHICAGO -- In a perfect White Sox world, José Abreu's 1,000th career hit would have been a majestic drive over the left-field fence at Guaranteed Rate Field, also producing his fifth 100-RBI season in six years and maybe even a walk-off victory against the Rangers on Saturday night.

Instead, Abreu grounded a single to right off Texas pitcher Kolby Allard with two outs in the first inning in one of the nine frames in which the White Sox failed to score during a 4-0 loss.

Box score

This fashion of reaching an important individual milestone actually might have been more apropos of Abreu, one of the steadier middle-of-the-order presences in baseball since he joined the White Sox in 2014 via a six-year, $68 million deal, but not always completely appreciated for his tireless work and sheer excellence.

Abreu’s teammates and many of the 26,454 in attendance recognized Abreu becoming the 29th player in franchise history to reach 1,000 hits, giving him a standing ovation. It produced a broad smile from Abreu and a hat tip.

“It’s a really big accomplishment for me, for my career, for my family. I also think for this organization,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “It means a lot to me, and I want to thank and give this to my family and [White Sox chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] and the White Sox and everybody who has helped me throughout these six years. They have been very good for me, and that’s why I feel blessed.”

“Just in general, he's been here certainly well before I came here, and he's been contributing in a very positive way,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He's continued to come into his own as a veteran Major League player and continues to do a lot of things well. That's a nice milestone for him to put together, and for it to be simply with the White Sox, it's pretty impressive.”

The White Sox first baseman was joined by fellow offensive forces Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jimenez in a full game for the first time since June 24 in Boston. Injuries to Anderson, Moncada and Jimenez have prevented that occurrence for two months.

But in response to this reunion, the White Sox managed eight hits while getting shut out for the 11th time this season. Their three-game winning streak came to an end in this third game of a four-game set, while starter Ivan Nova’s five-decision and six-start winning streak also came to a close.

Nova allowed two runs over 5 2/3 innings on 107 pitches, with only one of those runs being earned. He struck out six and didn’t issue a walk, as his ERA now stands at 0.94 (five earned runs in 48 innings) since July 22. His runs allowed came in the sixth on Willie Calhoun’s two-run home run to right, while Danny Santana added a second two-run shot, coming off Jimmy Cordero, in the seventh.

Yolmer Sanchez matched a career-high hitting streak of 12 games with a fifth-inning single, and Anderson’s hitting streak stretched to 11 with a leadoff single in the eighth. Otherwise, this night belonged to Abreu, who started his next 1,000 hits with a two-out single in the third.

Abreu has 1,885 hits over 16 years spent between the White Sox and Cienfuegos in Cuba. His immense value to the White Sox has been discussed numerous times, but on Saturday night, after making history, Abreu talked about what this organization means to him.

“I’m very grateful with Jerry, with [executive vice president] Kenny [Williams], with [general manager] Rick Hahn, with [special assistant to the general manager] Marco Paddy, with all the people that made this possible,” Abreu said. “It’s not just for the money, but they made my mom’s dreams come true. It’s not about the money. It’s about the dream and to be able to get to this point in my career.”

“He's the franchise player. He's big for us,” Nova said. “Everybody here respects him. He does it his way.”

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