NEW YORK — Several pitches after he experienced an indescribable moment watching Matt Albers hit, Jose Abreu experienced a memorable one of his own Wednesday afternoon.
Abreu ended a particularly frustrating game on a high note when his 13th-inning, run-scoring sacrifice fly concluded Albers’ improbable trip around the bases at Citi Field.
Abreu’s sacrifice fly wasn’t only deep enough for Albers to easily tag up and score, it also resulted in the slugger’s first RBI since May 18 and aided the White Sox in a 2-1 win over the New York Mets in 13 innings. Prior to his RBI, Abreu went 0-for-4 with a walk and stranded four runners in scoring position. He hadn’t driven in a run in 55 plate appearances.
“That was a very special and beautiful moment for me because when you’re passing through a bad moment you have to step up,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “And that was the moment I felt if I stepped up I could help the team win the game.”
Hitting ahead of Abreu, Albers, who batted for the first time since 2009 and hadn’t reached base since 2007, doubled to start the 13th inning. It was yet another chance for Abreu, who struck out with two on to end the 10th, flew out with a man on in the eight and struck out with one one in the sixth.
But Abreu’s chances for success increased considerably when Albers advanced to third on a wild pitch. Facing Logan Verrett, Abreu fouled off four straight fastballs before driving the sixth pitch to center. Juan Lagares’ throw home was well off the mark, and the White Sox had their first series victory since May 8.
“Once he reached third base, my mind was like, ‘OK, I just need to put the ball in the outfield’ and I was able to do it and I am glad for that,” Abreu said.
The contest, which included eight scoreless innings by the White Sox bullpen and five double plays turned, gives Abreu confidence the club is headed in the right direction. They’ve won two in a row after losing 15 of 19.
And it all began with Albers’ opposite-field double to left center.
“I don’t have words to describe that,” Abreu said. “But that’s a sign we’re doing things right, and when you’re doing things right they have to (start) going your way. We were passing through a very tough moment, but when you work hard very good things are going to happen.”