CHICAGO - Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a two-run double, Eloy Jimenez had three hits and the Chicago White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 7-3 Friday night.
Abreu matched Baltimore’s Anthony Santander for the longest hitting streak in the majors this season.
“Abreu is one of the best hitters I’ve ever seen,” Jimenez said. “Every time he’s up at the plate I learn something. He tries to show us something every at-bat.”
Codi Heuer (2-0) relieved starter Dane Dunning in the fifth and got the win with 1 1/3 innings of relief. Alex Colome earned his eighth save in nine tries.
The White Sox (24-15) took a half-game lead on the Indians and Twins in the AL Central. The Indians lost to the Brewers and the Twins swept a doubleheader from the Tigers.
“In spring training, we planned to compete for a playoff spot,” Jimenez said. “Now we’re here and we’re trying to do our best. We compete every night no matter what. It’s good to be fighting for a spot.”
The White Sox, who lead the American League in home runs, showed that they can score in other ways.
“We had quite a few chances early but weren’t able to capitalize,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “If you put together some good at-bats with runners on base, it doesn’t necessarily take a homer to drive in runs.”
Brady Singer (1-4) allowed five runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
The White Sox got a run in the first on a sacrifice fly by Edwin Encarnacion.
The first pitch of the bottom of the first saw the end of a couple of streaks. Whit Merrifield singled off Dunning, snapping an 0-for-17 streak for Merrifield. It also snapped a streak for Dunning, who threw five hitless innings in his last start, also against the Royals.
“I thought we had a really good plan of attack,” Dunning said. “Honestly, I was just trying to pound the zone and get the ball in our defense’s hands.”
Nick Madrigal drove in another run in the second inning with a single, but Chicago left the bases loaded.
Adalberto Mondesi scored Alex Gordon with a two-out single in the second to draw the Royals within a run. It snapped an 0-for-22 streak for Mondesi. Mondesi finished with three hits.
“You saw it coming,” Kansas City manager Mike Matheny said of Mondesi’s three-hit night. “The swings look better. Pitch recognition was better. Those ones with big situations, too, it seems like Mondy’s been in those a lot and even when he has put the bat on the ball it seems to just find somebody.
“There’s no doubt these guys have been hurting for him. They know the person as well as the player. You just kind of feel his pain. These guys care for each other and that’s going to pay off for us in the long run.”
Chicago got another run in the fourth on singles by Nomar Mazara and Madrigal and a sacrifice fly by Tim Anderson.
The Royals tied it in the fourth but left the bases loaded. An RBI fielder’s choice by Edward Olivares and another RBI single by Mondesi knotted the game at 3-3. But Merrifield popped up and Hunter Dozier grounded out with the bases loaded to end the inning.
The White Sox got another run in the fifth on a wild pitch by Singer.
Abreu’s double drove in two in the sixth, and Jimenez got an RBI in the seventh.
The Royals scored one in the ninth, but Ryan McBroom grounded out as the tying run.
Royals DH Jorge Soler was back in the lineup after coming out of Wednesday’s game and missing Thursday’s game with oblique irritation.
The White Sox will send RHP Lucas Giolito (3-2, 3.14 ERA) to the mound. After no-hitting the Pirates, Giolito battled through five innings in his last start Monday against the Twins. Giolito has 34 strikeouts, three walks and seven hits allowed in his past three starts.
LHP Kris Bubic (0-4, 5.46 ERA) will get the start for the Royals. Bubic delivered what manager Mike Matheny called his best outing of the season last Sunday against the White Sox. He went 5 1/3 innings and gave up six hits and two runs while striking out a career-high eight.