DETROIT – During his 32-game stretch without a home run, Jose Abreu said he wasn’t concerned about the lack of power.
Turns out he was only hiding his frustration.
“It was always in my mind,’’ Abreu admitted after hitting a home run to left field against Jordan Zimmermann in the second inning of the White Sox’ 6-3 victory Thursday over the Detroit Tigers. “It was a tough time for me because I never experienced something like that in my career. I was in bad stretches when I didn’t hit homers but not like this.
“I feel relieved.’’
Abreu had made 137 plate appearances since he homered over the Green Monster at Fenway Park on June 23. This one was his 12th, a far cry from the 36 and 30 he launched in his first two seasons in the major leagues.
Melky Cabrera jumped on his back in the dugout and stayed there after Abreu’s first home run trot, which started with a fist pump for teammates as he rounded first.
“I was very happy, he was happy too,’’ Abreu said. “I was waiting for that for a long time.’’
“His swings today were great,’’ manager Robin Ventura said.
“His getting that homer was even bigger than us getting runs for [Jose Quintana].’’
Right on Q
Jose Quintana’s ERA is at 2.93, even better than staff ace Chris Sale. In his last six starts, it’s 2.27.
“People are talking about him now. They should have been a couple years ago,’’ pitching coach Don Cooper said. “Now people are jumping on it, but he’s been good since he’s been here.
“He doesn’t stop improving. We say how can we get him better? And he finds a way.
He’s a coach’s dream, totally prepared, works hard and when he’s all done he’s going to know he got everything out of his God-given ability.’’
Quintana improved to 9-8 and will likely reach double digit victories for the first time in his career, even though he has posted ERAs of 3.76, 3.51, 3.32 and 3.36 his first four seasons.
Eaton bats third
Adam Eaton, who has batted first or second this season, batted third for the first time in his career and went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.
“He fancies himself a three-hole hitter, so especially the way the offense has been going, you try to mix it up enough to see if something clicks with them,’’ Ventura said.
“The way he swings, he’s hitting a couple more homers than usual, and I think it’s a good spot for him.’’
Look for the Sox to stay with it at least for a short time. It’s not every day they score six runs.
Brett Lawrie, eligible to come off the disabled list this weekend, doesn’t seem close to getting back on the field soon. Lawrie is on the DL with left hamstring strain but his knee is an issue as well.
“There’s fluid in there,’’ Ventura said. “He doesn’t feel right and that is taking a little longer than anticipated. It’s somewhere in the knee. I don’t know if it’s actually inside the knee but he can’t pinpoint where he’s feeling it.’’
This and that
David Robertson, who gave up three homers to the Tigers last time he faced them, converted his 26th save in 30 opportunities, facing three batters in the ninth.
*DH Justin Morneau has reached base in 11 of his last 12 games.