Jose Abreu homers in return to White Sox lineup

SHARE Jose Abreu homers in return to White Sox lineup

ARLINGTON, Texas — After missing three games with a sore index finger on his right hand, Jose Abreu returned to the White Sox lineup Wednesday for their game against the Texas Rangers. Abreu seemed to be fine — after striking out in the first inning, he belted a 410-foot home run to center field against Nick Martinez to give the Sox a 6-0 lead and added an RBI single in a 9-2 victory.

A day after leadoff man Adam Eaton supplied the only offense with a two-run homer in a 15-2 loss to the Rangers, and having Abreu back was a welcome sight. Second baseman Carlos Sanchez drove in the first two Sox runs with a single and Eaton doubled in two runs. Tyler Flowers (3-for-5) hit a two-run homer and Gordon Beckham was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, raising his average to .284.

“It’s good [having Abreu back],” said right fielder Avisail Garcia, who returned to the lineup Saturday in Houston after missing five straight games with right knee inflammation. “We’re here to compete and hopefully everybody will stay healthy.”

Abreu was the designated hitter with Adam LaRoche at first base.

“I thank Hermie [trainer Herm Schneider], he did a great job helping me with the hand, my finger,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “I want to thank also Robin [Ventura] for the confidence that he gave me with the days to rest and to get better. And the results were good but the most important thing was we won today. It was a very important victory for us.

“I think that we have proved during this road trip that we have a very good team. We have to battle and fight. We are not in the best shape that we can get or we haven’t shown our best game yet. But we are in a very good position and we are getting better every day. This road trip has helped us to get more like a unit, a team. And I just hope tomorrow we have to come back and win the last game of this road trip.”Garcia on the mend

Avisail Garcia, who got hit by a pitch to start the six-run second, winced after making a running catch during the first inning Tuesday night. He said the knee is OK.

“I feel good. I think it’s in my mind because you protect where it hurts,” he said. “But I have to keep playing, doing my ice and take my treatment every day, and hopefully it will feel better every day.

“It’s going to get better. If it gets worse I will stop but I can play with it.”

Garcia was hitting .340 since April 24 through Tuesday. LaRoche was hitting .355 with two homers and six RBI over his last six games, and he could see continued playing time at first base because of Abreu’s finger.

“Just to make sure throwing wise, the finger that it’s on is on his throwing hand,” manager Robin Ventura said. “We want to make sure that if something does happen … we wouldn’t have to do the thing we did the other day, where we had Flow [Tyler Flowers] going to first base. DH is the safest spot [for Abreu] and having LaRoche over at first. If something happens, we can adjust.”

Sore hands are never good for a hitter. Adam Eaton played with a broken finger last season, so he can attest.

“When you swing it’s a big deal, and with as much velocity as he swings with it’s tough on his hands,” Eaton said of Abreu.

“For me it altered it a little bit. You change a little bit but not a drastic amount and know every time you swing you’re going to feel like crap. It is what it is.

“He’s our best hitter, he has contributed with average and power.’’

This and that

Gordon Beckham was in the lineup at third base, not only because he is a better option than Conor Gillaspie defensively but also because of his bat, Ventura said. Beckham has started nine of the last 10 games.

*Jesse Crain and Nate Jones pitched in simulated games Tuesday and are scheduled for more of the same Friday as the two right-handers work their way back from arm injuries.

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