TORONTO -- Jose Abreu broke a late tie to give the White Sox a 4-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night and avoid the series sweep at Rogers Centre.Abreu's shot in the eighth was a no-doubter into the second deck in center field. The 430-foot home run was
TORONTO -- Jose Abreu broke a late tie to give the White Sox a 4-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night and avoid the series sweep at Rogers Centre.
Abreu's shot in the eighth was a no-doubter into the second deck in center field. The 430-foot home run was Abreu's only hit of the night, but he's been hot early in 2018 and leaves Toronto with a .400 average.
Manager Rick Renteria gave Abreu the green light in that 3-0 count, but that isn't Abreu's favorite place to be.
"That is something that I don't really like," Abreu said after the game, "the 3-0 hack. But the situation that I got, they told me to do it."
The White Sox got a stellar performance from their bullpen, with Danny Farquhar, Nate Jones and Joakim Soria recording the final 10 outs without a baserunner allowed.
Starter Carson Fulmer kept the White Sox in the game through five innings but allowed the first two runners to reach base in the sixth and was pulled after just 73 pitches.
"He worked pretty clean and threw a lot of strikes," Renteria said. "His fastball command seemed like he was working well, and mixing in his secondary pitches effectively kept his pitch count down."
Fulmer finished with three earned runs allowed, five strikeouts and one walk. The right-hander's ability to stay around the strike zone was critical as he entered Wednesday with 20 walks in 35 Major League innings.
Matt Davidson opened the scoring for Chicago with a line-drive home run to left field that curled around the foul pole. After breaking out with three home runs on Opening Day, that gave Davidson his fourth home run in just five games this season.
Renteria believes that, as Davidson continues to develop, his contact and plate approach will catch up to his power to create a more complete hitter like the White Sox have seen lately.
"He will continue to learn how to become a hitter over time," Renteria said. "Most guys are hitters first and then power comes. Historically, or the old-school thinking, we used to think that way. He's got the natural ability, if he puts the bat on the ball in the right spot, then he's able to put it out of the ballpark."
The Blue Jays got six innings of three-run ball from starter Aaron Sanchez, who allowed allowed five hits and two walks while striking out seven. Sanchez threw 98 pitches, up from 89 in his first outing of the season.
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Quick thinking by Sanchez:Yolmer Sanchez prevented the Blue Jays from adding another run in the sixth with a quick defensive play at third base. Toronto had runners on the corners and one out when Russell Martin grounded to Sanchez. Knowing that he'd be rushed to turn two, Sanchez twisted his body to throw home and get Justin Smoak just in time with a good tag from Welington Castillo.
Just out of reach: A pair of balls bounced off outfielders' gloves in the bottom of the fourth, which set up the Blue Jays to score their first run of the game. First, Smoak drove a 390-foot line drive over the head of Adam Engel, who raced back in time to make the play but couldn't secure the catch. Avisail Garcia then let a Curtis Granderson liner glance off his glove in the right-field corner, giving the Blue Jays runners on second and third with none out.
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It first looked liked Granderson had submitted his early candidate for catch of the year in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Yoan Moncada drove a high blast to the very top of the wall in left field. Granderson leapt and appeared to bobble the ball with his glove at the height of his jump, but regained control for a catch as he fell to the ground. After the White Sox challenged, though, the replay showed that the ball had hit the wall instead of Granderson's glove. Moncada was awarded first and one run scored with all runners advancing.
"We were very, very confident," Renteria said. "It didn't take us very long to go ahead and ask them to look at it." More >>
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Abreu's home run was his 126th with the White Sox, which ties him with Joe Crede for 14th in franchise history. Next up is Jim Thome, who sits in 13th place with 134.
White Sox: Chicago heads to Guaranteed Rate Field for the home opener on Thursday at 3:10 p.m. CT against the Tigers. James Shields will make his second start of the season for Chicago. On Opening Day in Kansas City, Shields allowed four runs on five hits over six innings in a 14-7 win over the Royals. He walked one batter and did not record a strikeout.
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Keegan Matheson is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto and covered the White Sox on Wednesday.