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White Sox fall to Indians in last home game; Abreu’s season over

First baseman Jose Abreu won’t join his teammates when the White Sox close out the season in Minnesota this weekend. Instead, he’ll head home for Miami Friday and call it a year.

It’s been one to forget even though Abreu made his second All-Star team. He went through a prolonged slump leading to the All-Star Game, and after getting untracked Abreu underwent emergency testicular torsion surgery. Having no minor league rehab games to get his swing back, he struggled when he returned but was sidelined again with an infection on his right thigh.

Abreu will finish .265/.325/.473 hitting line with 22 homers and 78 RBI, falling three homers short of becoming the ninth player to hit 25 in his first five seasons. He played his 128th and last game Sept. 16 in Baltimore. In his first four seasons, Abreu played in 145, 154, 159 and 156 games, never wanting a day off.

“It is disappointing,” Abreu said through translator Billy Russo. “That is not the way I wanted to end the season, but you know what, like I always said, God does things for a reason and you have to take it.”

Jose Abreu hits a two run home run against the Cleveland Indians at Guaranteed Rate Field on June 14, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Abreu, who will be 32 in the final year of his contract next season, repeated that he wants to play his entire career with the Sox.

“That’s a discussion I’ve been having with my family, and that’s what we all want, just to be part of this organization for my whole career,” he said.

General manager Rick Hahn said Wednesday that decisions have to be made on both Abreu and Avisail Garcia, who can become free agents one year from now. Garcia has been limited to 89 games because of hamstring and knee problems and will have arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday.

“We know from the track record of performance what these players are capable of doing and can project with some level of certainty, given the health of each of them, what it’s going to look like going forward,” Hahn said. “We don’t need to make long-term decisions on either just yet.”

Bullpen night, plight

Lefty reliever Jace Fry got his first career start on a bullpen night for the Sox in their home season finale against the Indians and gave up a leadoff home run to Francisco Lindor, and it was pretty much downhill from there for the pen in a 10-2 loss to the Indians.

The Indians built a 10-0 lead in the sixth inning scoring against Aaron Bummer (one run), Ryan Burr (five) and Jeanmar Gomez (three).

The Sox did not get a hit off Indians starter Shane Bieber, until Yoan Moncada bounced a high chopper off the plate to the mound for a single in the fifth inning, and did not score until the ninth on RBI singles by Kevan Smith and Adam Engel.

Moncada (2-for-4) struck out twice, hiking his major league total to 214, nine shy of the major league record held by Mark Reynolds (2009 Rockies).

The Sox were headed to their ninth loss in the last 11 at home and a 30-51 record, the third-worst behind the Orioles, 27-50 through Tuesday; and San Diego, 29-49. The Sox had their fourth-worst home record in club history, ahead of 1948 (27-48), 1932 (28-49) and 1970 (31-53).

Nice gesture

Manager Rick Renteria donated 200 tickets to children who were treated at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis for Sunday’s game at the Twins. It’s a thank you to staff involved in his care while he was a patient there last month. Renteria missed four games undergoing tests for lightheadedness.

Much appreciated

A Fan Appreciation Night paid crowd of 25,598 hiked the season total to 1,608,582. Many of them stayed for postgame fireworks and cheered loudly for the Sox runs in the ninth.

The Sox drew 1,629,093 last season.