CHICAGO — Bobby Abreu led off the fifth inning Thursday with a solo home run to left field, giving him 250 homers in his career and moving the Angels right fielder onto an impressive list of baseball achievers.
With his ninth home run of the season, Abreu became one of only six players in major league history with 250 home runs, 2,000 hits, 1,000 runs, 1,000 runs batted in, 1,000 walks and 300 stolen bases.
The others are Barry Bonds, Craig Biggio, Joe Morgan, Rickey Henderson and Willie Mays. Mays, Morgan and Henderson are in baseball's Hall of Fame; Bonds and Biggio had Hall of Fame-caliber careers but are not yet eligible for induction.
"Darn, that's pretty good," Abreu said with an impish grin. "It's good to be in that club with those names, all those guys who have been so good in this game. It made me feel so proud."
Abreu also left Chicago with a nice memento. A security guard retrieved the ball he hit for his home run from a young fan on the promise it would be exchanged for an Abreu-autographed ball.
The home run ball was in the hands of an Angels media relations official by the sixth inning and was given to Abreu after the game.
"That speaks volumes to Bobby's talent," Manager Mike Scioscia said of Abreu's career numbers. "That's pretty select company. He's a terrific player, a complete player, and that's what you're seeing."
The bases-loaded, one-out jam in the third inning wasn't the only tight spot Ervin Santana extricated himself from Thursday.
The Angels right-hander had his string of retiring nine straight batters end when Jayson Nix walked and Chris Getz reached on a one-out single with one out in the sixth.
But Santana struck out Ramon Castro and got Scott Podsednik to fly out to deep center to end the inning.
"There were some key outs in the game, especially Castro and Podsednik in the sixth," Scioscia said. "Ervin made some pitches when he had to."
In addition to playing flawless defense, shortstop Erick Aybar had a productive day at the plate.
Aybar reached on a bunt single in the first inning, took second on a walk, stole third and scored on Juan Rivera's infield single.
He hit a sacrifice fly in the second, reached on another bunt single in the seventh and showed he's not just a little-ball specialist in the ninth, crushing a solo home run deep into the left-field seats.
Right-hander Jason Bulger relieved Santana to start the seventh and threw two perfect innings, striking out one. Kevin Jepsen gave up a solo home run to pinch-hitter Dewayne Wise in the ninth. . . . The Angels have won 14 of their last 18 games.
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Putting up the numbers
With Thursday's homer, the Angels' Bobby Abreu, above, became one of only six players in major league history with 250 home runs, 2,000 hits, 1,000 runs, 1,000 runs batted in, 1,000 walks and 300 stolen bases.
*--* Player H R RBI HR BB SB Bobby Abreu 2,066 1,240 1,161 250 1,224 341 Craig Biggio 3,060 1,844 1,175 291 1,160 414 Barry Bonds 2,935 2,227 1,996 762 2,558 514 Rickey Henderson 3,055 2,295 1,115 297 2,190 1,406 Willie Mays 3,283 2,062 1,903 660 1,464 338 Joe Morgan 2,517 1,650 1,133 268 1,865 689 *--*
Source: baseball-reference.com, mlb.com