Jose Abreu rests, White Sox get swept by Tigers
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Jose Abreu needed a day off, and the White Sox will be glad to take a break from the Tigers.
Abreu didn’t play Sunday as Detroit beat the Sox 3-1 to complete a three-game sweep. Without Abreu, the Sox fell to 1-8 against the Tigers, with their only win coming May 26.
“Overall, it wasn’t a very good series for us,” starter James Shields said. “We’ve been playing some really good baseball as of late, and we’re going to try to go into Cleveland feeling positive.”
Abreu, who leads the voting among American League first basemen for next month’s All-Star Game, has played in 68 of the Sox’ 70 games. But with a game-time temperature of 92 degrees, manager Rick Renteria thought it would be a good day to rest Abreu.
Renteria gave him a semi-break Saturday by using him as the designated hitter, but he went a step further Sunday by holding him out of the lineup.
“He needs a break,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘He needs a day. We’ve been riding him a lot. You guys know that he plays every single day. He even hates DHing. I tried to give him a little blow [Saturday] as a DH. He needs a spell. Today’s as good enough a day as any.”
Abreu has earned that breather and probably needed it, too. Overall, he has an OPS of .843 but is hitting .184 in his last 10 games. Renteria said the two “talked a little” about letting him rest.
“He deserves a little spell,” Renteria said. “You’ve got to give him a mulligan for not being in there today.”
Shields pitched six-plus innings and allowed three runs, including Nick Castellanos’ two-run homer in the first. But other than that blemish and Jose Iglesias’ RBI single in the fourth, Shields was strong again. He pitched at least six innings for the 11th consecutive time and helped save the bullpen.
“I think the story was James,” Renteria said. “I think he kept us in the game, straight up.”
Matt Davidson, who hit fourth and played first base in place of Abreu, homered for the first time since May 13.
“I didn’t realize it was that long,” said Davidson, who missed time in late May and early June because of back spasms. “It felt that long, though.”
Getting a handle
Nicky Delmonico, who fractured the third metacarpal bone in his right hand, is no longer wearing a splint. Renteria said Delmonico is doing work with his hands to strengthen his wrist.
“Anybody that’s had an injury knows that once you brace something for an extended period of time, the muscles start to atrophy a little bit,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘There’s some stiffness that’s created because you’re held in a solid position.
‘‘He’s just getting everything loose and trying to gain strength and put himself back into position to be able to go ahead and transition into more baseball activities.”
Before the game, a sizable group gathered in the Sox’ clubhouse to watch Mexico’s 1-0 upset of Germany in World Cup group play.
Hirving “Chucky” Lozano’s goal drew loud cheers from the players.
Joakim Soria (born in Monclova, Mexico) and Miguel Gonzalez (born in Guadalajara, Mexico) were wearing green Mexican national-team jerseys.