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White Sox’ home-run binge continues, with Jose Abreu leading the way

Three home runs for Jose Abreu, five for the White Sox. One day after Abreu hit two of the Sox’ six homers. That’s two straight wins against the crosstown rival Cubs and seven in a row overall.

Jose Abreu watches his two-run home run against the Chicago Cubs during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jeff Haynes)
AP Photos

Three home runs for Jose Abreu, five for the White Sox.

One day after Abreu hit two of the Sox’ six homers.

Two straight wins against the crosstown rival Cubs and seven in a row overall.

Twenty-seven homers in those seven games, a major-league record. And a major-league-leading 54 homers for the team.

How did the Sox get there? This recent tear began last Sunday, when Yoan Moncada, Yasmani Grandal, Abreu and Eloy Jimenez hit consecutive homers in a 7-2 win over the Cardinals.

On Monday, the Sox hit six homers in a 7-2 win over the Tigers. Tim Anderson and Luis Robert had two each, and Moncada and Danny Mendick also went deep. The Sox kept winning and leaving the yard, ramping it up against the Cubs on Friday with Abreu (two), Grandal, Robert, Mendick and Jimenez — a 466-footer — fueling a 10-1 victory.

“These guys must have been born next to a nuclear power plant,” left-hander Gio Gonzalez, the winning pitcher Saturday, said after the Sox’ 7-4 victory over the Cubs. “They’re destroying baseballs.”

“I’m just blessed, blessed to be on this team with these teammates,” an elated Abreu said on his postgame Zoom call, flashing three fingers.

“You’ve got a lot of guys out there that you can just [ride their] coattails, and they can carry you,” manager Rick Renteria said.

“The team has been building, and there’s been a lot of hype,” Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. “It’s tough to be on the losing side of it. But when you see teams come together like that, it’s pretty scary.”

When the Sox needed a run to break a tie, Abreu hammered an opposite-field homer against Kyle Hendricks leading off the sixth inning to give them a 3-2 lead.

He then added a two-run homer against Rowan Wick in the eighth to make it 5-2 and a solo shot against Duane Underwood Jr. in the ninth to make it 7-3. He now has 10 homers this season and 189 in his career, good for fifth place on the Sox’ all-time list, passing Magglio Ordonez.

Abreu (4-for-4, three runs scored, four RBI) also singled against Hendricks — against whom he is 9-for-16 in his career — to extend his hitting streak to seven games. He has 27 RBI and has built a nice case for AL Player of the Week honors, going 15-for-27 with six homers, three doubles and 14 RBI with Sunday’s game against the Cubs and Yu Darvish filling out the week.

In his seventh season, Abreu hasn’t played on a winning team with the Sox, but this is the deepest lineup he has been a part of.

“I imagine he’s ecstatic,” Renteria said.

“Imagine being on the club for a lot of years and having to try to carry everything and how that might create — though he may not say it — even more added pressure to be the guy that does it all. And then when you have a lot of guys that can pick you up along that string in the lineup, it frees you up a little bit.”

The Sox’ 54 homers are tied with the Padres, who hit six in a 13-2 victory over the Astros, for the major-league lead.