DETROIT — As the home runs began to add up for White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu at various ballparks earlier this season, the question always seemed to be whether the rookie’s production would slow down.
Sox manager Robin Ventura said before Tuesday’s 11-4 victory over the Tigers at Comerica Park that he “absolutely” believes Abreu can keep up the pace.
“That has been the impressive part of him — it’s not a one-week thing,” Ventura said. “He has been able to continue this, and I don’t see him stopping.”
Abreu continued to make good on the promise Tuesday night, going 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and four RBIs.
Abreu not only hit his major league-leading 31st home run of the season, but with a single in the fourth inning, he also extended his hitting streak to 18 games, tying his career high. Abreu failed to hit in just one game between the two streaks, July 5 against Felix Hernandez and the Mariners.
Afterward, Ventura considered whether Abreu should be in the conversation for American League MVP with players like the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera, who Abreu passed Tuesday for the major league lead in RBIs with 83.
“He is one of the best players in the league. That’s a fact,” Ventura said. “Whether people put him in it, I don’t know, but I know he’s up there with anybody that’s running for it.”
The Sox tied a season high with seven runs in the seventh inning with the help of two of the Tigers’ three errors.
The inning started when Conor Gillaspie singled off Anibal Sanchez, advanced on Cabrera’s fielding error at third and Tyler Flowers’ single and scored on Rajai Davis’ fielding error in left field to break a 2-2 tie.
With the bases loaded, Alexei Ramirez hit a three-run double off reliever Joakim Soria and Abreu followed with a two-run shot to left field. Adam Dunn gave the Sox back-to-back homers for just the second time this season with a blast to right field.
After he broke a string of four straight no decisions, Sox left-hander Jose Quintana enthusiastically ended his postgame interview by calling out, “Run support!” Quintana kept his team close early on, allowing two runs on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts in six innings.
“Sometimes I fight with my delivery, especially early in the count,” Quintana said. “I said last time, one day (the run support) would change. That day is today.”
The Sox added two runs on Abreu’s two-run double to right field in the eighth.
“(Abreu is) not Miguel Cabrera, but he has a chance to be something like that,” Flowers said. “Every at-bat, every day, the way he works, that’s how I imagine Miguel works. It seems like he has just as much power, and a similar kind of swing too. He can take balls in and drive them out to right-center. He doesn’t seem to get fooled too often. He’s a complete hitter.”