Reunited with son, Abreu leads White Sox HR parade
CHICAGO (AP) — Jose Abreu has been at his best since reuniting with his young son.
The slugger hit the first of four White Sox home runs and Jose Quintana threw 7 2/3 solid innings to lead Chicago past the Seattle Mariners 9-3 on Saturday night.
Avisail Garcia and Alex Avila hit consecutive homers during a four-run fifth and Tyler Saladino added a two-run shot in the seventh, all off struggling reliever Vidal Nuno.
Abreu extended his hitting streak to 10 games and his on-base streak to 23 with a solo shot during a two-run first against Ariel Miranda (1-1).
Abreu, who defected from Cuba in 2013, went more than two years without seeing his son Dariel until a December trip to the island nation organized by Major League Baseball.
Dariel, now 5, traveled to the U.S. for the first time earlier this month. They were reunited in Miami, and Dariel will be with his dad for another week or so before returning to Cuba.
Abreu is hitting .351 with four homers in his past 10 games. Coincidence?
“We know he’s happier. That part is pretty obvious, that he has a little more to him,” manager Robin Ventura said. “This game does enough to beat you down that if you can find something like that, it just helps you when you come to the ballpark.”
Abreu had already dressed and dashed off to be with his family when reporters were allowed in the clubhouse.
“When he talks he seems relaxed,” Quintana said. “He talks a lot about his family. It’s fun. I’m happy for him.”
Quintana (11-9) allowed two runs — one earned — and five hits, struck out eight and lowered his ERA to 2.77 in Chicago’s fifth win in seven games.
After a hot August start that got them into playoff contention, the Mariners have lost four of five.
The left-handed Miranda pitched four innings, allowing three runs and five hits while throwing just 47 of 90 pitches for strikes.
“The biggest thing was fastball command. He wasn’t locating it great,” manager Scott Servais said. “That’s his pitch.”
Quintana allowed a leadoff double to Leonys Martin in the first, and he scored an unearned run thanks to Avila’s passed ball. But Avila made up for it in his first game off the disabled list with a solo shot in the fifth.
Left fielder Melky Cabrera, back after missing two games with an illness, added a first-inning sacrifice fly and threw out Robinson Cano trying to stretch a single to help squash Seattle’s best rally off Quintana.
Justin Morneau’s first triple of the season in the fifth scored Todd Frazier. Garcia followed with a two-run shot off Nuno. Garcia also doubled twice.
Mariners: 3B Kyle Seager went 1 for 4 after missing three games with a bruised right foot. Seager’s return, along with an upcoming schedule heavy with left-handed opposing pitchers, led Seattle to option OF Norichika Aoki to Triple-A Tacoma. ... Servais said RHP Tom Wilhelmsen (back spasms) was “not crazy” about going on the disabled list. “We really don’t have time where we’re at in the bullpen right now to give him five or six days,” Servais said.
White Sox: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (groin) threw a simulated game. He’s eligible to come off the disabled list.
Seattle’s Chris Iannetta took ball three, tossed his bat and jogged all the way to first in the fifth before realizing he hadn’t walked. Quintana struck him out on the next pitch.
Ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte, a reliever acquired from Toronto this month, joined Seattle with his special glove after a stint in Triple-A.
“Splits have said I’m a little bit better from the left side,” Venditte said. “So I would imagine that’s how I’ll be used here.”
Also arriving in a flurry of moves were INF Dae-Ho Lee from Tacoma and reliever Dan Altavilla, who was wide-eyed after getting called up from Double-A Jackson.
Altavilla hit 100 mph in a perfect eighth and struck out Frazier in his major league debut.
“My family in the stands just going crazy, it was tough to hold back my emotions there,” he said.
Seattle RHP Taijuan Walker (4-8, 4.14 ERA) faces LHP Carlos Rodon (4-8, 4.02) to close the four-game series Sunday.