Jose Abreu hopes to return to White Sox’ lineup Saturday

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Jose Abreu, left, is assisted off the field after being injured during a play during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

DETROIT — Jose Abreu was out of the White Sox’ lineup Friday night after suffering a mild right groin strain Wednesday, but he said he was available to pinch-hit and hoped to be back in the lineup Saturday.

Abreu wanted to play, but he understood that manager Rick Renteria was “trying to think of me,” he said through an interpreter. “But I feel good.’’

Abreu, who was in a slump for much of April, is showing signs of life with four consecutive multihit games. He was 11-for-24 (.458) with four doubles and three RBI in his last seven games.

“I am feeling more comfortable now at home plate,” he said. “I feel like my offense is catching up with where it’s supposed to be.”

Garcia cleanup? Not so fast

Avisail Garcia hit his fifth homer in the second inning against Tigers lefty Matthew Boyd, but Renteria is comfortable leaving the American League leader in batting average sixth in the lineup — or fifth, where he batted Friday with Abreu out.

Renteria admits he has thought about moving Garcia up to fourth. Garcia already has batted fourth once this season.

“I’ve been tempted, yes,” Renteria said. “Absolutely. But I just want to leave him there, and we’ll see how we continue to move forward. We are three weeks into the season. It’s a long season.”

Todd Frazier, batting fourth, and Garcia homered on Boyd’s first two pitches in the second inning.

Mix and match

Tyler Saladino was the designated hitter, the latest indication that Renteria is following through on his promise to spread that role around. Cody Asche (eight starts), Matt Davidson (four), Abreu (three), Frazier (two), Yolmer Sanchez (two) and Melky Cabrera (one) have taken turns at DH.

It’s all part of Renteria’s plan to have more flexibility and versatility. The only position manned by the same player all season is right field, where Garcia has made 21 starts.

“It’s cool,” said Davidson, a third baseman who made his second start at first base. “It breaks it up, keeps everybody fresh — and mentally fresh, too. It doesn’t let you get lazy. I have to get my work in at first base and third base, so it keeps you on your toes.”

The lone lefty

Left-hander Dan Jennings has quietly continued to be an effective piece in the Sox’ bullpen, posting a 1.65 ERA since Aug. 4, 2015, spanning 99 relief appearances. That’s the third-best mark in the AL over that span.

Jennings is the only lefty in the pen, and he came into the season more determined than ever to always be available.

“I’ve taken pride in that,” Jennings said. “Some of those days after I’ve thrown one or two [innings] and might need a day off, I feel like, as a lefty, I can always be available for one hitter, even if I’m hanging a little bit.”

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Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com

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