White Sox’ bad road trip ‘preparing us to be stronger,’ Jose Abreu says

“These final five games are going to be different, and the postseason is going to be good,” Abreu said. “We are going to be prepared for what is coming. It’s preparing us for a better postseason.”

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Jose Abreu (right) and Eloy Jimenez of the White Sox celebrate after both had RBI hits against the Cleveland Indians on Monday.

Jose Abreu (right) and Eloy Jimenez of the White Sox celebrate after both had RBI hits against the Cleveland Indians on Monday.

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Jose Abreu admits the White Sox took their collective foot off the gas pedal after clinching a playoff berth last Thursday.

He believes some good can come from it.

Since defeating the Twins to lock down the Sox’ first postseason berth in 12 years, the Sox went on the road and lost two of three to the Reds before dropping the first three games of a four-game series against the Indians.

“For good things to happen, you need bad things to push you,” Abreu said before the Sox’ 3-2 loss Wednesday. “This is probably not the way we wanted to do it, but this is the time preparing us to be stronger and a way better team.”

After a 10-11 start, the Sox went on a 22-5 run that culminated with taking three of four from the Twins for the playoff clincher. They averaged 3.2 runs since then on the road trip before Wednesday. But Abreu said the Sox “are on the right track.”

Whether they play well or not, the last four series against the Twins, Reds, Indians and Cubs will have served as primers for the postseason.

All are good teams, perhaps an eye-opener for a team that hammered the Tigers, Royals and Pirates to the tune of 21 wins in 24 games.

“These final five games are going to be different, and the postseason is going to be good,” Abreu said. “We are going to be prepared for what is coming. It’s preparing us for a better postseason.”

On Wednesday, the Sox faced the top pitcher in the American League, Shane Bieber. On Thursday, they’ll face Zach Plesac, who has tossed 14 scoreless innings with 18 strikeouts and one walk against the Sox this season.

Abreu, a candidate for the AL Most Valuable Player award, isn’t letting his foot off the pedal when it comes to playing every day. He hasn’t missed a game yet and plans to play all 60 games, in large part because his mother gets upset when manager Rick Renteria gives him a day off when he’s not hurt.

Rollin’ Garrett

Left-hander Garrett Crochet, three months removed from the draft and having no minor-league experience before Friday, made his fourth appearance and first on consecutive days Wednesday. He was just as good as his first three appearances with a perfect seventh inning.

Crochet struck out Jordan Luplow and Roberto Perez, and in four appearances and four innings, he has allowed no runs and one hit with no walks and five strikeouts. He has thrown 30 pitches at 100 mph or more, and on Wednesday was throwing his slider and changeup for strikes.

Crochet was stretched out to two innings at the training facility in Schaumburg, so going more than one is possible.

“If we deem it appropriate, then there’s a chance that it could happen,” Renteria said.

Heat of the moment

Renteria was asked more than once about the necessity for players to maintain their cool in vital games, in direct reference to shortstop Tim Anderson getting ejected Tuesday by umpire Angel Hernandez.

“All the players have a right to an emotion,” Renteria said. “[Anderson] wasn’t out there on the field making it a thing — he was in the dugout.

“All I’m saying is the emotions are running high. Was I irritated that he tossed him? Abso-friggin-lutely I was irritated, and that’s why I went out there.”

Renteria also was ejected, his second in two nights.

This and that

Closer Alex Colome, who did not pitch the 10th inning after throwing six pitches in the ninth in the 5-3 loss to the Indians on Tuesday because of a back spasm, was feeling better Wednesday.

Adam Engel made his 16th start, in place of Nomar Mazara in right field.

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