Jose Abreu’s RBI — and hustle — make a difference for White Sox

“If I were playing right now, I’d want to be like him,” White Sox acting manager Miguel Cairo said. “I would follow him.”

SHARE Jose Abreu’s RBI — and hustle — make a difference for White Sox
Jose Abreu drove in two runs with a single and sacrifice fly.

Jose Abreu drives in a run with a single on Wednesday in the White Sox’ 9-6 win over the Mariners.

Caean Couto/AP

SEATTLE — Jose Abreu hasn’t homered in 33 games. But as long as he keeps hitting — and hustling — as he did in the White Sox’ 9-6 victory over the Mariners on Wednesday, that’s OK with acting manager Miguel Cairo.

“If I were playing right now, I’d want to be like him,” Cairo said. “I would follow him. I would be imitating the way he works, the way he prepares himself, the way he plays the game.”

Extending his 18th career hitting streak of 10-plus games to 11, the second most in the majors since the start of 2014 behind the Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon (19), Abreu drove in two runs with a single and sacrifice fly and has hit safely in 21 of his last 24 games with 34 hits and a .373 average during that stretch.

The Sox have taken heat for not running everything out this season, but Abreu ran all out to avoid an inning-ending double play — a challenge overturned an out call at first base — before Eloy Jimenez homered in the fourth inning to cut the Mariners’ lead to 4-2.

“I appreciate when my teammates hustle,” Jimenez said. “It was good to see that and gave me the opportunity to hit in that inning.”

Abreu, 35, has 14 homers, and his homerless streak is the longest of his career. His career low for a full season is 22 in 2018, when he was limited to 128 games.

“I’m going to tell you this, he’s been the most consistent hitter on our team and I’m glad that he’s getting hits, just getting on base,” Cairo said. “Sometimes the line drives are not going to go out of the ballpark. He’s the most consistent hitter we have this year.”

Abreu (.309/.382/.452) leads the American League with 160 hits.

La Russa and Oakland

As the Sox head to Oakland for a four-game series, a team spokesman said manager Tony La Russa is still going through testing as prescribed by his personal doctors. La Russa, who managed the A’s from 1986-95, would like to attend former A’s ace Dave Stewart’s jersey retirement Sunday, but he needs clearance from his doctors to travel from Phoenix. The A’s set up the Stewart event for when La Russa and the Sox are in town.

La Russa’s absence remains indefinite, pending results of his medical evaluations.

In La Russa’s absence, with Cairo taking over as acting manager, veteran players have “really taken the charge as far as what we need to accomplish as a team, as far as being supportive to our staff,” pitcher Michael Kopech said. “And with that support everybody is feeling a lot more confident in themselves and each other and I think it’s going to be a fun final push here for us.”

Robert out, again

Luis Robert, who left Tuesday’s game after two at-bats (both strikeouts) because of a bruised left hand from getting hit by a pitch, is day-to-day.

“We’re going to see how he feels [Thursday],” Cairo said.

Robert hadn’t played in two weeks because of a sore left wrist and getting hit on the left hand doubled his discomfort. He’s hurting “where he got hit [on his fingers] and I guess the [left] wrist, it’s still a little sore,” Cairo said.

AJ Pollock started in center field, flanked by Andrew Vaughn in left and Gavin Sheets in right.

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