Abreu pleased with direction of offense

CHICAGO – As the losses mount, the Chicago White Sox still have a chance to accomplish some impressive feats, especially on offense.

As expected, if it has to do with the offense, then Jose Abreu must be involved. Abreu’s .308 batting average at the start of play Tuesday was eighth in the American League and just three points behind fifth place Michael Brantley of the Cleveland Indians.

Right behind Abreu in ninth place was Adam Eaton, who was batting .304. Eaton returned to the White Sox lineup Tuesday night after missing the last two-plus weeks while on the disabled list because of a strained right oblique.

Rounding out the top 10 of the American League batting chase was Conor Gillaspie, who was at .303.

“Definitely I’m very happy about that and I think it is a good sign the team is headed in the right direction,” Abreu said through an interpreter Tuesday. “I am proud of the individual accomplishments that I have been able to get, but I am not very happy with where we are at as a team, so we will have to work on that.”

The Detroit Tigers were the only other AL team with more than one player in the top 10 batting leaders. Victor Martinez was second at .328, while Miguel Cabrera was seventh at .308.

“It’s a sign in the right direction from where we were last year,” manager Robin Ventura said. “We have Jose in the middle of it. There were signs of turning it around. Alexei (Ramirez’s) year has been pretty nice, too. Eaton and Abreu, it helps offensively of what you’re going through from what we had last year, you feel like you’re able to score some runs.”

According to STATS LLC, the last time the White Sox had two players who finished in the top 10 in batting average was in 1993 when Frank Thomas was sixth with a .317 mark and Lance Johnson was 10th at .311.

The last time the White Sox had three or more players in the top 10 was in 1960 when Al Smith was second with a .315 average, Minnie Minoso was third at .311, Roy Sievers was sixth at .295 and Nellie Fox was ninth at .289.