Abreu has explosive Fourth of July

CHICAGO – If this is what the Fourth of July is all about, Jose Abreu is impressed.

The Chicago White Sox rookie experienced his first Independence Day in his new country and celebrated it with a home run in front of a near-capacity crowd that helped his club to a 7-1 victory Friday at U.S. Cellular Field.

“It’s incredible,” Abreu said through an interpreter when asked about the holiday. “Sometimes I think I’m dreaming.”

At that, the major league leader in home runs, with 27, pinched himself.

It was a rare moment as Abreu actually took a look around to take in the scene, as opposed to his usual practice of keeping his head down to work hard.

Abreu also extended his hitting streak to 18 games but wouldn’t have known it had it not been for a phone call.

“I wasn’t even aware of it until my dad told me,” Abreu said. “He was like, 'You are getting hits.' I’m trying to do something to help every day, whether it’s an RBI [or] playing defensively. I’m trying to do something that helps the team. That’s my goal. I’m not thinking about other things. But hey, once again, I thank God for those things.”

The crowds might have come Friday for a game and fireworks, but they might make plans to return for the Abreu fireworks seemingly in the future.

“I’m so thankful we have that many fans come out today for such a special day as today,” Abreu said. “And every single one of us obviously had to do a part to play a good game. There’s nothing that gets us more motivated than having a lot of fans in the stands.”