Jose Abreu hits for cycle with Cuba and Hurricane Irma on his mind

Chicago White Sox slugger Jose Abreu admitted he didn’t get much sleep on Friday night into Saturday morning. The Cuba native had his mind on his homeland as Hurricane Irma, then a Category 4 storm, passed over the island with intense winds and heavy rains.

There’s no clear indication yet what the extent of the damage in Cuba might be, but as tired and concerned as Abreu was leading up to Saturday’s game, he played on. And wouldn’t you know he ended up making history?

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With his dramatic eighth inning triple in the White Sox 13-1 win against the Giants, Abreu hit for the cycle for the first time in his MLB career. He’s the sixth player to do it for the White Sox, and the first since Jose Valentin on April 17, 2000.

If you were to rank candidates to hit for the cycle on the White Sox, Abreu probably wouldn’t place too high. He’s certainly not known for his speed, and he couldn’t have been one-hundred percent in this at-bat after fouling a ball off his foot a few pitches earlier. Yet still, Abreu turned on the burners to pick up his fifth triple of the season.

Worth noting, in his three previous seasons, Abreu combined for six triples. So he’s either gained a step this season or he’s hitting the ball in better spots. We’re going to go with the latter. Hitting is Abreu’s game and he’s one of the best MLB has to offer.

Jose Abreu crushed the Giants Saturday, completing the sixth cycle in White Sox history. (Getty Images)

Abreu started his big game by welcoming former teammate Jeff Samardzija back to Chicago with a home run in the first inning. The solo shot opened the scoring for the White Sox. Abreu followed with a double in the third and a single in the seventh, before collecting the triple with two outs in the eighth.

Overall the White Sox had 18 hits in the victory. Abreu finished 4-for-5 with three runs batted in. Yolmer Sanchez and Tim Anderson had three apiece, with both coming up just a double shy of completing their own cycle. Never have teammates had a cycle in the same game. Had three done it, it would have been mind-blowing.

In the end though, this was Jose Abreu’s night to shine, and it feels like that’s the most fitting outcome.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!