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Cabrera stays hot with homer, four RBI; Shields nears rehab start

Melky Cabrera hits a three-run homer against the Boston Red Sox in the Sox' 5-4 win. Cabrera drove in four runs in the victory. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

White Sox outfielder Melky Cabrera insists he hasn’t done anything differently lately. He hasn’t changed his swing and has remained true to his routine.

But in the Sox’ last seven games, Cabrera is hitting .440 with four home runs. He kept up the pace Monday with a homer and four RBI, including the go-ahead single in a 5-4 victory against the Red Sox.

Cabrera blooped a single over the infield with two outs in the seventh inning to drive in Kevan Smith, who had tied the score at 4 with a RBI double that drove in Yolmer Sanchez, who had tripled to lead off the inning.

Juan Minaya (1-0) picked up the victory after David Holmberg allowed three runs in four innings in his first start of the season. David Robertson pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his eighth save.

Cabrera gave the Sox, who have won four of their last five games, a 3-1 lead with a three-run homer in the third against Red Sox starter David Price, who was making his season debut after coming off the disabled list.

‘‘We have very good players here, and we are ready to do our best every day,’’ Cabrera said through an interpreter. ‘‘We have confidence. The manager has given us confidence, too, and that’s important because you can play the game [the way] you like to play it.”

Cabrera finished the day with two of the Sox’ five hits. He has made the most of hitting ahead of slugger Jose Abreu, whom he knows opposing pitchers might be looking to avoid.

‘‘In this situation [in the seventh], you have to look for a good pitch to hit,’’ Cabrera said. ‘‘That was my plan in that at-bat. But [Abreu’s] a very good hitter, and you have to take advantage of it.’’

Shields getting closer

Right-hander James Shields threw a 45-pitch simulated game and expects to make a minor-league rehab start soon.

Shields, who has been on the disabled list with a strained right lat, said he expects to go to Class AAA Charlotte and throw three or four innings Saturday. He hasn’t pitched in the minors since being called up in 2006.

‘‘I’m going to go out there and compete,’’ said Shields, who is on the DL for the first time in his career. ‘‘Whether I’m rehabbing or not, I’m a competitor.

‘‘[I’m going to] try to help those guys win a couple of games while I’m down there. I know how hard they work, so it’ll be a good experience.’’

Keeping up with Jones

Reliever Nate Jones threw a bullpen session as he continues to work through neuritis in his right elbow. He incorporated his slider into the mix as he tries to move closer to a return.

‘‘We are taking steps in the right direction,’’ Jones said.

Follow me on Twitter @JeffArnold_.

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