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Jose Abreu swings his way into Albert Pujols territory

Jose Abreu's two RBIs against the Royals on Thursday gave him 101 for the season. David Banks/Getty Images

CHICAGO -- A disappointing 2015 season for the Chicago White Sox in no way can be placed at the feet of Jose Abreu.

The slugger made major league history Thursday by becoming just the second player to record 30 home runs and 100 RBIs in each of his first two seasons. Only Albert Pujols, with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001-02, has been in that rarefied air.

That he reached those benchmarks for a second straight season in the White Sox's 6-4 defeat to the Kansas City Royals might have been sadly fitting. While Abreu has been able to shine the past two seasons, winning American League rookie of the year honors in 2014, the White Sox as a team have struggled.

While his team is a combined 147-174 over the past two years, Abreu has mashed 66 home runs with 208 RBIs.

Abreu hit his 30th home run in Wednesday's loss to the Royals, then crossed the 100-RBI plateau with a two-run single in the seventh inning on Thursday. He flashed his ever-present smile while standing on first base and then received a hug from first-base coach Daryl Boston.

"It's an important accomplishment in my career," Abreu said through an interpreter. "I want to thank the White Sox for the opportunity because I couldn't have done this without the help of the organization. And of course I want to thank my family for always being with me and giving me all the support to get through the bad moments."

Just how giddy was he after joining Pujols in double 30/100 territory? He even thanked the media for being there every step of the way.

"It's a big accomplishment for him," manager Robin Ventura said. "All the guys are proud of him. It's special for a guy to be able to do that, and there's not a big list [of people who have done it]. This game's been around a long time, and for somebody to accomplish that just shows his character and dedication [of] him coming to the park every day as a pro."

Ventura made sure to point out that the RBI hit off reliever Luke Hochevar came with two outs, and while the White Sox still trailed, what also made it clutch was the fact that Abreu had been pressing to reach Pujols country.

"It is a big honor to see my name along with Albert," Abreu said. "He's one of the greatest players in the history of baseball and now I have the opportunity to see my name next to his."

Abreu has credited Pujols with putting him at ease before embarking on his major league career last year. In spring training 2014, Pujols pulled Abreu aside and told him above all else to just be himself and enjoy the ride.

Abreu said that message helped him to settle in last year and get off to a monster start that earned him a spot on the American League All-Star team. He was not an All-Star this year, but his numbers will end up almost matching the 36 home runs and 107 RBIs he put up in his debut season.

And while Abreu has always been sure to mention team goals first, he did admit to focusing a little on personal numbers in recent days.

"Yes, I was thinking a lot about it every time," Abreu said. "I tried to not think about it, but I couldn't do it because it was something that was in my head. Because I like the stats, it's something that I was always thinking. I tried not to think about it, but I couldn't."

For all his hard work and dedication to the team cause, begrudging Abreu his moment to reflect on himself would just be silly.

"Definitely I've never had a better teammate," White Sox starting pitcher John Danks said. "I've had a lot tied with him, but he's not only an incredible talent, he's one of the best hitters in all of baseball. He's very humble, very team-oriented. Shoot, I don't think I've ever seen him not smile. He's a great guy. It's been fun attempting to speak Spanish to him. I'm certainly excited that he's on my team and I don't have to face him."

And with his own postgame media session winding down, Abreu happened to mention he had one last order of business to tend to before packing up his things following another productive day at the office.

"After all this I am going to text [Pujols] to say thank you because he has helped me a lot," Abreu said.