MLB In Full Bloom - Jose Abreu's Amazing April - 4/28/2014

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Jose Abreu has made highly favorable first impressions around the American League in April. The rookie White Sox slugger has caught the attention of teammates, managers and opponents with his power, poise and patience at the plate. The 27-year-old Cuban first baseman put on his most impressive performance Friday night when he blasted a two-out walk-off grand slam to beat the Rays 9-6. It was his second homer of the night and broke the major league rookie record for home runs in April with nine. Abreu also tied Albert Pujols' rookie record of 27 RBIs in April. Saturday he came back to earth with an 0-for-4 night. On Sunday, Abreu was back at it and went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI as the White Sox beat the Rays 9-2 on Sunday. The home run, a two-run shot, gives Abreu 10 homers on the year. His four-RBI day raises his total to 31 RBI. Both are good for most in baseball.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Jhonny Peralta went 2-for-2 with two home runs and four RBI in the Cardinals' 7-0 win over the Pirates on Sunday. Peralta has been feast or famine for much of the season, as he's now got six home runs while batting just .195. Both homers came off Pirates starter Edison Volquez.
  • A.J. Burnett picked up his first win of 2014 on Sunday as he held the Diamondbacks scoreless for eight innings allowing just five hits while striking out eight and walking none. Burnett lowered his ERA to 2.15 with the strong outing. He has a 0.83 ERA in three starts since being diagnosed with an inguinal hernia two weeks ago. The injury, which will require surgery in the offseason, is proving to be no problem for Burnett to this point. He will face the Nationals at home in his next start.
  • Adam Wainwright continued his dominance over the National League on Sunday, going eight scoreless innings in the Cardinals' win over the Pirates. Wainwright needed 99 pitches to get through eight shutout innings, giving up three hits and two walks while striking out seven. Wainwright hasn't allowed a run in his last three starts. He's 5-1 with a 1.20 ERA and will face the Cubs on Saturday.
  • Kyle Seager went 2-for-4 with two home runs, including a game-winning three run shot to lead the Mariners to a 6-5 victory over the Rangers on Sunday. Seager hit a solo shot in the seventh to pull the Mariners within two runs, and the next inning he pulled an Alexi Ogando pitch into the right field seats for a three-run blast. He has all five of his homers in the last four games and is one of the hottest hitters going right now after a horrible start to the season.
  • Bryce Harper (wrist) was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with a sprained thumb. This news certainly comes as a big blow to the Nationals and fantasy owners alike, as Harper will indeed be out of action for at least the next couple of weeks after a head-first slide into third base Friday night after he hit a bases loaded triple to score three runs.
  • Kolten Wong was optioned to Triple-A Memphis on Sunday by the St. Louis Cardinals. Wong was given the team's starting job at second base out of spring training, but he has struggled at the plate by hitting just .225 BA with five RBI in his first 20 games. He'll look to get back on track in the minor leagues before rejoining the Cardinals later in the season.
  • Clayton Kershaw (back) threw 56 pitches across five innings Friday, allowing one earned run on just two hits with six strikeouts and a walk for High-A Rancho Cucamonga. This was certainly a positive outing for Kershaw in his first rehab start. Kershaw will make another rehab start, but on Sunday he expressed his frustration with Dodgers management that he wants his next start to be with the Dodgers. However, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly stated that the team wants Kershaw to get his pitch count up to 90 pitches before returning to the big league club.