Less than a month into the season, one White Sox truth has already been established. This is Jose Abreu's team now, at least on the offensive side of it.
The Sox' latest Cuban import leads the major leagues with 10 home runs and 32 RBI -- both all-time records for a rookie in April -- and anticipation is already building on the damage Abreu is going to do when the weather finally heats up.
"I hope it comes soon," Abreu said through an interpreter Monday before the White Sox beat the Rays -- and the rain -- 7-3 at U.S. Cellular Field.
Voted the co-American League Player of the Week after batting .310 with 5 homers and 15 RBI, Abreu continues to draw raves from inside and outside the Sox' clubhouse.
"Um, you know when Detroit acquires Miguel Cabrera? Or Mike Trout surfaces in Anaheim?" Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "There's always these prodigy kind of players out there, that when they show up, it's a combination of great work ethic and calm and ability to go out there and perform. That's what I see with (Abreu)."
For as great as he has been right out of the box, Abreu hasn't been a one-man offense. Monday's win over the Rays was a perfect example.
Alexei Ramirez, now the AL's leading hitter at .358, went 2-for-3 and drove in a run. Dayan Viciedo, second behind Ramirez at .354, walked and scored a run.
Tyler Flowers doesn't quite have enough at-bats to qualify for the batting race yet, but the White Sox' rejuvenated catcher hiked his average to .373 with a 2-for-4 showing.
Up and down the line it goes for the highest-scoring team (150 runs) in baseball.
"Without having looked at that stats, we're all confident," said third baseman Marcus Semien, who put the Sox in front for good Monday with an RBI double in the fourth inning. "When we're confident, we're good. That's the name of the game right there."
Abreu was very good again as the Sox (14-13) took three of four from Tampa Bay in the series. The first baseman went 2-for-4 with 1 RBI and 1 walk, but again, he had plenty of help.
Alejandro De Aza hit a 2-run homer in the second inning to take starter Andre Rienzo (2-0) off the hook after a shaky first.
Adam Eaton supplied his usual spark from the leadoff spot, going 2-for-4 and delivering a 2-run double.
"Lots of guys just feel like they're going to do something when they get up there," manager Robin Ventura said. "It's a contagious feeling."
Even Adam Dunn is an active offensive participant this season. After going 2-for-5, Dunn has an impressive .274/.393/.521 hitting line to go with 5 HRs and 11 RBI.
"I've kind of said it from Day 1, when you're scoring runs it makes it tolerable when you lose and really exciting when you're winning," Dunn said. "Offensively, we're a lot better than we were."