CHICAGO (AP) — With a chance to hit for the cycle, Jose Abreu momentarily lost his balance during his eighth-inning dash to third base.
“My legs weren’t responding, but I’m a warrior,” Abreu said.
Abreu became the first White Sox player to hit for the cycle in 17 years, among a season-high six Chicago players to go deep in a 13-1 rout of the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night.
Abreu hit his 29th homer in the first off former White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija (9-13), doubled in the third, struck out in the fifth, singled in the seventh against Josh Osich and hit a two-run triple in the eighth versus Roberto Gomez. The previous White Sox player to hit for the cycle was Jose Valentin against the Baltimore Orioles on April 27, 2000.
“Initially, off the bat, I knew he wasn’t going to stop,” manager Rick Renteria said. “I knew he was going to give an effort. Those things don’t happen very often.”
Abreu hit a foul ball off his left shin earlier in the at-bat. He has a .363 batting average and 10 homers in his last 25 games.
“No, no,” Abreu said when asked whether he would agreed to take a seat.
“I don’t like to leave the games,” Abreu said. “I like to play the whole game.”
Tim Anderson, Avisail Garcia and Yoan Moncada also hit solo home runs, Nicky Delmonico had a two-run home run and Yolmer Sanchez added a three-run homer, the 13th time Chicago hit six or more in a game.
James Shields (2-7) allowed one run and two hits in a season-high seven innings, retiring 17 of 18 batters before Nick Hundley homered in the seventh. He had been 0-5 with a 6.64 ERA since beating the New York Yankees on June 29.
“It’s still a work in progress, but we’re moving forward,” Shields said of his revamped delivery. “I’m getting the results that I want.”
Samardzija (9-13), pitching on the South Side for the first time since the final week of the 2015 season, gave up six runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
A night after they were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention, the Giants (56-88) lost for the 11th time in 15 games. If they lose more than 94 games, they would have their worst record since going 62-100 in 1985.
Home runs by Abreu in the first and Anderson in the second built a 2-0 lead, and Sanchez’s homer made it 5-0 in the fourth. Garcia homered in the fifth, and Moncada and Delmonico went deep in a four-run seventh.
“He’s always been an amazing hitter,” said Samardzija, who spent one season with Abreu in Chicago. “I got to see it firsthand. Dude’s the first guy in the cage every day, first guy at the park.”
WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN
Tim Raines, inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. He said one of his few regrets with the White Sox came in the strike-shortened 1994 season.
“We had the best team in baseball,” Raines said. “Someone else probably would say the Expos had the best team, but they were on the other side of the league. We had everything that we needed to win a world championship – pitching, defense, offense and all the intangibles.”
ON THE MOVE
Giants LHP Ty Blach will head to the bullpen. “He can help out there as opposed to eight or nine days between starts,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
Giants: C Buster Posey could be behind the plate Sunday for the first time since he took a foul tip off his right hand Tuesday, Bochy said. Posey started at designated hitter in the second straight game. … OF Jarrett Parker (strained left oblique) sat out a seventh consecutive game but could return Sunday. … RHP Matt Cain, absent with what the team said was a personal matter), is slated to rejoin team Monday for the start of an eight-game homestand.
White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon (inflamed left shoulder) will be re-evaluated next week.
RHP Carson Fulmer (1-1, 10.50) is to start for the White Sox on Sunday and LHP Madison Bumgarner (3-7, 3.15) for the Giants. Fulmer, Dylan Covey and Mike Pelfrey will fill Rodon’s rotation spot for the remainder of the season, according to Renteria.