Abreu hits 3 HRs, 5 in 2 days; Chisox top Cubs, 7th W in row

MLB

CHICAGO (AP)Jose Abreu hit three home runs a day after going deep twice, and the Chicago White Sox again powered past the Cubs in a 7-4 victory Saturday night for their seventh straight win.

Abreu connected in the sixth, eighth and ninth innings at Wrigley Field for the first three-homer game of the All-Star slugger’s career. He went 4 for 4 with a walk and four RBIs. He has 10 homers and 27 RBIs this season.

”I’m just happy and just blessed for all this,” Abreu said through a translator. ”I’m just feeling good and enjoying the moment. I’m pleased with myself and enjoying life.”

Rookie Luis Robert and Yasmani Grandal also homered for the White Sox, giving the South Siders 11 in the first two games of the series. The White Sox hit six in a 10-1 rout on Friday.

The Cubs dropped their second straight and are 3-7 since getting off to a 13-3 start.

”I feel like guys are still just trying to get going,” manager David Ross said. ”You see the difference in the two sides right now. You see an offense that’s really clicking on all cylinders with a ton of confidence and our guys are still trying to get going.

”I think the at-bats are there. The eagerness or willingness to have and try to execute that plan, we’re just not there yet – or right now, I should say.”

Gio Gonzalez (1-1) tossed 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to get the win. He allowed just one hit while walking three and striking out two.

White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez allowed two runs and one hit in 3 1/3 innings, striking out four and walking two while throwing 50 pitches. The right-hander, activated from the 10-day injured list before the game, lasted just two-thirds of an inning before leaving his start on July 26 with shoulder soreness.

Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks (3-3) permitted three runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander was 8-2 with a 1.96 ERA in his previous 16 starts at Wrigley Field.

The White Sox jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second on a line-drive homer to center by Robert, who also hit a two-run shot in the second on Friday.

Victor Caratini’s two-run double in the bottom half tied it.

Abreu’s solo shot to right in the sixth put the White Sox on top 3-2. He hit a two-run homer in the eighth on an 0-2 pitch from Rowan Wick to make it 5-2.

Grandal and Abreu made it 7-3 with back-to-back solo homers off Duane Underwood Jr. in the ninth.

”It’s unbelievable,” Gonzalez said of the offense. ”These guys must have been born next to a nuclear power plant. They’re destroying the baseball.”

BRYANT ON IL

The Cubs placed 3B Kris Bryant on the 10-day injured list before the game with a sprained finger on his left hand. Bryant also got an injection for his ailing left wrist on Tuesday. The injuries occurred when he made a diving attempt on Cesar Hernandez’s flare to left field in the fifth inning of a 7-2 victory at Cleveland on Aug. 12.

The 2016 NL MVP hasn’t played since Monday’s doubleheader split against St. Louis. The IL move is retroactive to Wednesday. The 28-year-old Bryant is batting just .177 with 20 strikeouts in 16 games.

The team did not announce a corresponding roster move.

TRAINER’S ROOM

White Sox: To make room for Lopez on the active roster, OF Nicky Delmonico was optioned to the team’s alternate training site in Schaumburg.

Cubs: LHP Jose Quintana (left thumb) is ready to return, but the veteran starter might be used out of the bullpen initially. ”We’ve had conversations with Q on how to build him back to the team, and that’s an option,” Ross said.

UP NEXT

Cubs RHP Yu Darvish (4-1, 1.80 ERA) faces RHP Dylan Cease (4-1, 3.16) in the series finale Sunday. Both have won their last four starts. Darvish has a 1.04 ERA over that span, compared with 1.93 for Cease.

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