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updated: 6/30/2014 9:39 PM

Rain keeps Abreu's hot hand on hold for White Sox

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  • White Sox rookie first baseman Jose Abreu is on pace to finish with 49 home runs and 125 RBI.

      White Sox rookie first baseman Jose Abreu is on pace to finish with 49 home runs and 125 RBI.
    Associated Press

 
 

Apparently, only two things can stop White Sox slugger Jose Abreu.

Rain and lightning.

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The nasty weather elements were out in full force Monday night, washing out the Sox-Angels at U.S. Cellular Field. The game will be made up Tuesday as part of a straight doubleheader beginning at 4:10 p.m.

White Sox starter Hector Noesi opposes Garrett Richards in Game 1, followed by Scott Carroll vs. Jered Weaver in the nightcap.

Abreu is riding a 14-game hitting streak, and he ranks among American League leaders with 25 home runs and 64 RBI.

Classified as a rookie despite playing 10 seasons with Cienfuegos in his native Cuba, the 27-year-old Abreu is the first player in major-league history to hit 25 homers in his first 69 games.

Abreu is on pace to hit 49 homers and drive in 125 runs.

"I can't predict what's going to happen," he said through a translator Monday. "The only thing I can tell you is my preparation is going to be there and I want to stay healthy. If that happens, that's all we really have control over.

"We just continue to do the same things we've been doing and we'll see if we continue to have the same success."

A 1-for-25 slide in April dropped Abreu's batting average to .200, but the first baseman has adjusted nicely and boosted his average to .279.

"I think he's starting to understand when people are going to pitch to him and when they're going to pitch around him," manager Robin Ventura said. "I think early on, he was being very aggressive in situations where guys were going to pitch around him, no matter who was behind him. There are just some teams that aren't going to give him anything to hit.

"Smarter pitchers are going to do that. They'll throw something out there and then he'll swing. He's getting a lot better at understanding that, when to be aggressive, when not to. And that's been the learning curve for him, understanding that."

Given his prodigious power, Abreu is being wooed to participate in the Home Run Derby for the American League the day before the July 15 All-Star Game at Minnesota. He originally said no and followed with a maybe. On Monday, Abreu seemed to be leaning toward no again.

"To be honest with you, that's not what I'm thinking about right now," he said. "I'm more concentrated on helping the team right now. I'm not really interested in the home run derby. Things change. We might see, but right now that's not something that's in the top of my priorities."

Abreu said participating in similar home run competitions in Cuba messed up his swing, so you can understand why he's seriously considering taking a pass.

Ventura said he will support Abreu either way.

"Do I think he would win it? Probably," Ventura said. "Just watching him on a daily basis, he has as good a chance as anybody to win it. But do you want to do that at the cost of your swing and your production from here on out?

"That's for him to decide. If he thinks he can do it and still keep his timing and all those things that make him a good hitter, he can do it."

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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