The White Sox are one of the best hitting teams in baseball.
For the last two and a half weeks, that is.
Get a load of these numbers: From July 23 through Monday, the Sox lead the major leagues in average (.293), slugging percentage (.502), OPS (.849), extra-base hits (76) and doubles (44). They rank second in runs per game (5.89) and on-base percentage (.347) and are tied for second in home runs (28).
Leading the charge: Melky Cabrera, Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton.
Abreu is hitting .344 with seven homers and 19 RBI over his last 17 games, with five homers in his last 11. He ranks fifth in the American League after the All-Star break with 21 RBI and is tied for seventh with seven home runs since the break.
Cabrera is hitting .408 with three homers, 12 doubles and 19 RBI in his last 18 games. Cabrera has been on a tear since June 21 with an AL-best .361 average, six homers, 19 doubles and 33 RBI in 43 games.
The rejuvenated offense has been starting at the top with leadoff man Eaton hitting .411 with 16 runs scored and a .507 on-base percentage over his last 15 games. Eaton leads the AL after the All-Star break with 22 runs scored. He scored in a career-high 10 straight games from July 23 through Aug. 2, the longest streak by a White Sox since Jim Thome opened the 2006 season with a franchise-record 17.
The Sox record during that stretch, which began with the seven-game winning streak in Cleveland and Boston? Ten wins, eight losses. Sox starters have an 8.24 ERA over the last 11 games, a big reason why they’ve gained little ground despite the recent hitting tear.
The Sox ranked last or near the bottom in numerous offensive categories for most of the first half but have inched up to 24th in runs per game (3.78), 25th in OPS (.685) and 22nd with 94 homers.
This and that
Emilio Bonifacio (oblique) began a minor league rehab stint at AAA Charlotte. J.B. Shuck tested his hamstring Tuesday and appears to be close behind.
Bonifacio, a career .262 hitting utilityman when the Sox signed him to a guaranteed one-year deal for $4 million last offseason, is batting .169 two doubles and four RBI in 45 games.
*Slumping Adam LaRoche sat out against lefty Hector Santiago, with Melky Cabrera assuming designated hitter duty and Trayce Thompson taking Cabrera’s spot in left field.
*Pitching probables for the upcoming Cubs series at U.S. Cellular Field: Friday, Kyle Hendricks vs. Jeff Samardzija; Saturday, Jake Arrieta vs. Jose Quintana; Sunday, Dan Haren vs. Chris Sale.
Rookie lefthander Carlos Rodon (4-4, 5.00) started for the Sox against former Sox lefty Hector Santiago (7-5, 2.78).
Rodon is 1-2 with a 9.33 ERA over his last four starts.