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White Sox 13, Giants 1: Jose Abreu hits for the cycle

Franchise’s first cycle in 17 years stands out among a night full of big hits

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Chicago White Sox Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

It’d been a while since the White Sox had this much fun in a game.

And it’d been 17 years since the White Sox had a particular kind of fun.

Jose Abreu capped off a big night for the offense by completing the first cycle by a White Sox hitter since Jose Valentin on July 27, 2000. He homered in the first, doubled in the third, struck out in the fifth, singled in the seventh, then tripled to the right-center gap in the eighth.

That’s remarkable enough, but what made it more surprising is that he fouled a Roberto Gomez sinker off the inside of his front leg the pitch before.

He required a visit from Rick Renteria and Herm Schneider, but he stayed in the game and made history a moment later.

The game was already loaded with highlights before Abreu finished the cycle — so much so that Tim Anderson had a chance to join Abreu if he could have doubled with two outs in the eighth. Anderson was a little overeager, striking out on three pitches, but the Sox got a good graphic out of it.

Hell, Yolmer Sanchez was also a double short of the cycle. He hit a three-run homer off Jeff Samardzija in the fourth inning, and his triple in the seventh turned into a homer when the relay throw bounced into the camera well.

Six different White Sox hit homers on the evening. Abreu, Anderson, Sanchez and Avisail Garcia took Samardzija deep, and Yoan Moncada and Nicky Delmonico victimized lefty Josh Osich.

Samardzija, who gave up 17 homers over 16 starts and posted a 5.33 ERA at U.S. Cellular Field when he pitched for the White Sox in 2015, didn’t look any more comfortable. The Sox tagged him for six runs on eight hits over 5 23 innings, and even some of their outs were hit hard.

On the other side, James Shields pitched a beautiful ballgame. Garcia bailed him out of a laborious first inning by making a sliding catch on Nick Hundley’s blooper down the right-field line for the third out, which stranded two. After that, Shields retired the next 14 batters. Hundley spoiled the shutout by connecting on a grooved fastball with one out in the seventh, but Shields was impeccable otherwise. He allowed just that run on two hits and two walks while striking out five.

Record: 55-86 | Box score