CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu had circled the bases and returned to the dugout after connecting on his 14th home run in the first inning of Friday's 8-7 White Sox victory over the Rangers when center fielder Adam Engel noticed a strange occurrence.Serious or not, the White Sox were motioning toward
CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu had circled the bases and returned to the dugout after connecting on his 14th home run in the first inning of Friday's 8-7 White Sox victory over the Rangers when center fielder Adam Engel noticed a strange occurrence.
Serious or not, the White Sox were motioning toward left field to retrieve the baseball. It wasn't a milestone home run career-wise aside from the fact that Abreu connected on his first home run at Guaranteed Rate Field this season after 13 straight on the road.
"Somebody, after he hit it, was waving like, 'Go get that ball,'" said a smiling Engel after the White Sox scored three in the ninth for their second straight victory. "I'm like, 'What?' Then somebody said it's his first home run at home.
"He's a great hitter, man. I don't think he tries to hit home runs. I think he tries to keep the ball on a line. Most of his home runs, I'm not him, but I think he definitely takes a lot of pride in putting the ball in play and not trying to elevate it."
Abreu had gone 155 at-bats and 177 plate appearances since last hitting a home run at home on Sept. 15, 2016, against Cleveland's Mike Clevinger. Abreu's 13 home runs on the road marks the longest streak of road homers to open a season in club history. According to Statcast™, Abreu's homer traveled 443 feet, had a launch angle of 25 degrees and had an exit velocity of 107.5 mph upon connecting with a 1-1 fastball from Austin Bibens-Dirkx.
Goose Goslin has the most consecutive road home runs to start a season at 17 in 1926, per STATS. He is followed by Elston Howard (15 in '62), then Leon Wagner (15 in '63) and Alex Kampouris (13 in '37), Ken Keltner (13 in '39) and Donn Clendenon (13 in '66).
"It was nice to see him hit it here," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "I thought he put a really good swing on, I think, a fastball that he got. Just in general, I thought everybody did a nice job picking each other up and continuing to play the game through nine innings."
"We knew it," White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier said. "I told him we should've had a celebration for him."
Frazier followed Abreu's home run with a 435-foot drive on the very next pitch for his 14th home run of the season. He homered again leading off the fourth.
"Good start for me, good start for the team," Frazier said. "Just unbelievable, that no-quit attitude we have."
With no offense to Frazier's power, the long-ball moment belonged to Abreu's welcome home Friday.
"That's still super-shocking," Engel said. "He's a big, strong dude who squares up a lot of baseballs."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.