White Sox

Abreu, LaRoche help White Sox snap losing streak with extra inning win

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Abreu, LaRoche help White Sox snap losing streak with extra inning win

TORONTO -- They have provided more than their share of disappointment this season but the White Sox aren’t ready to retreat.

After their closer blew his second save attempt in 18 hours, the White Sox bounced back Wednesday afternoon to avoid a three-game sweep with a 5-3 win in 10 innings over the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre.

Jose Abreu, Adam LaRoche and Gordon Beckham all had key hits shortly after Tuesday night’s hero, Josh Donaldson, tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with another home run off David Robertson. The White Sox won for only the second time in nine games and snapped a four-game losing streak despite Robertson’s second straight blown save.

“We’re not winning like we should, but we’re not giving up,” Beckham said. “I think that’s important. I think that bodes well for the rest of the season. It’s one thing to have a game like last night and come back here and have it happen again and then just die mentally. It’s good to not let down.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

The 20-24 White Sox have faced a good deal of adversity but perhaps none has been as daunting as this latest round.

A day after Donaldson sent Toronto to a 10-9 victory by launching a three-run homer off Robertson he did it again. Trailing 3-2, Donaldson ripped a 2-0 Robertson fastball out to left (home run No. 13) to tie the score. Robertson bounced back and retired Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion to send it to extras.

Abreu -- who had an earlier two-run double -- started the 10th inning off with a triple to right off reliever Roberto Osuna as outfielder Danny Valencia misplayed the ball, allowing it to carom back toward the infield. LaRoche, who reached base three times, put the White Sox back ahead with a sharp RBI single to right.

Pinch runner Emilio Bonifacio smartly tagged and moved into scoring position on a fly ball out, which was rewarded when Beckham doubled down the right-field line.

Robertson pitched around a single and a walk in the 10th inning to preserve the victory.

“There's some resilience there,” manager Robin Ventura said. “Especially after last night you can just lay down and think it's going to happen all over again and you don't answer the bell. It says a lot about the group.

[MORE: Beck to debut Thursday while Rodon gets the start on Friday]

“We've been knocked around early in the year in different spots of losing games and they've been able to answer it. That's a good sign from these guys.”

The White Sox need much more and quickly.

They’re 20-24 and still have eight games left on this four-city road trip, including two in Baltimore on Thursday. Robertson’s availability after pitching in parts of four innings over two days is up in the air. But Ventura said he knew almost immediately he’d bring Robertson, who has converted nine of 12 saves, back for the 10th once the White Sox pulled ahead. Robertson said he’s grateful for the chance to redeem himself.

“I’m not going to sit there and dwell on the fact,” Robertson said. “You have bad games. This is the big leagues. You’re going to make mistakes. Guys are going to hit home runs. You’re going to have whole runs where you have two or three bad outings in a row. You just have to push those aside and move on to the next thing. It’s over. It’s already done. You can’t change it, so I just look for the positive. If I get another opportunity, I’m going to make the best of it.”

There were plenty of positives in Wednesday’s start by Jeff Samardzija, who didn’t figure into the decision.

Samardzija -- who allowed an unearned run and eight hits -- successfully navigated through seven outstanding innings.

He put a runner in scoring position in four of the seven frames, including the first two, and escaped all but one unscathed.

Jose Reyes doubled to start the game before Samardzija set down the Blue Jays’ 2-3-4 hitters. Samardzija stranded a pair in the second and sixth innings, the latter ending with a strikeout of Ezequiel Carrera. But he didn’t go untouched as, surprise, surprise, Donaldson hit a long sac fly to right in the seventh to cut the White Sox lead to 3-1. Samardzija -- who has a 1.96 ERA in 23 innings in his last three starts -- pitched out of trouble there when Bautista flew out to deep left.

“We needed this one,” Samardzija said. “In baseball you always talk about streaks and when you're going on good streaks you wanna continue you those and ride them out as along as you can. And when it's not going good you wanna put a stop to it as fast as possible because it's a long season but things happen fast.

“We won, that's all that matters.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Rebuild advice from 3 Houston Astros All-Stars

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Rebuild advice from 3 Houston Astros All-Stars

With the White Sox in the middle of a rebuild, Chuck Garfien spoke with 3 Houston Astros All-Stars who explained how they went from a rebuilding team to World Series champions. Jose Altuve, George Springer and Alex Bregman talk about how they dealt with losing, how they learned how to win, the importance of adding veterans to the young core, and how they kept hope alive during the rebuild.  Then later, Chuck spoke with Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain trying to understand how he dominated the White Sox for so many years.

Jose Abreu didn't come to White Sox looking for leadership role, but he's the face of the franchise on the All-Star stage

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu didn't come to White Sox looking for leadership role, but he's the face of the franchise on the All-Star stage

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jose Abreu didn’t come to the White Sox to be a leader. But that’s what he is as he took his spot among the best in baseball at Tuesday night’s All-Star Game.

Abreu is the face of the South Side baseball club and he’s had a stellar-enough first four and a half seasons in Major League Baseball to earn the distinction of a starter in the Midsummer Classic. But Abreu, unsurprisingly, doesn’t look at himself as one of the best in the game. He looks as himself as a hard-worker.

“I don’t believe that I’m the best,” Abreu said through a team translator on Monday. “I’m just a person who likes to work hard every day and try to do my best.”

That humility is nothing new to folks who follow the White Sox on a regular basis. And neither is talk of Abreu’s work ethic, the admiration of everyone involved with the team and a constant talking point from Rick Hahn, Rick Renteria and all Abreu’s teammates.

Abreu has become as important for his off-the-field roles as he has for his on-the-field production for this rebuilding White Sox team. He’s been described as a role model for all the young players in the organization, whether they’re on the big league roster right now or coming up through the system.

“None of them have told me that yet,” Abreu joked. “But I know that. It’s definitely a compliment, and I take it as something that makes you feel good, something that makes you keep moving forward and to keep trying to help the guys to improve and get better as a team. You feel like that is a big honor, that people think that way of you.”

As good as he feels to be held in such esteem, Abreu didn’t set out to be one of this team’s leaders when he came to the United States. And to be honest, he might not be in his current position if it weren’t for the team’s rebuilding effort. Abreu is one of the few veterans on this team.

“That was something that happened. I didn’t look for it,” Abreu said. “I was always trying to help people and trying to give advice to help people to improve. But I never tried to be a leader. If people say that because of what I do, that’s good, but that’s not something that I’m trying to force or something that I say, ‘I want to be a leader.’ No, that’s not who I am. I am just the kind of person who likes to help people, who likes to give advice.”

Abreu is seemingly the definition of what the White Sox want their next winning roster to be full of. And whether it’s the special relationship he has with fellow Cuban Yoan Moncada or the role-model status he holds in the eyes of his other teammates, both current and future, he’s helping the White Sox develop those kinds of players.

Oh, and he’s generally — though this season has seen an extended slump and atypical numbers — one of the most consistently productive hitters in the game.

Who wouldn’t want all that as the face of the franchise?

“It’s all a blessing. I can’t ask for anything else,” Abreu said. “I’m a true believer that if you work hard, good things are going to happen. That’s why I work hard every day, I try to do my best, I try to improve every day and just to be a better person. Not just a better player, but a better person.”