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White Sox, winners in 9 of last 12, scoring enough without Abreu

DETROIT — Daniel Palka is going to do what he can to keep the White Sox on a roll, even without All-Star Jose Abreu.

Batting cleanup Sunday, Palka belted his 19th homer of the season, a two-run shot after Avisail Garcia, hitting in Abreu’s customary No. 3 spot in the lineup, had knocked in two runs with a single against Jordan Zimmermann in a four-run third inning that gave Michael Kopech all the support he needed in the Sox’ 7-2 victory over the Tigers on Sunday.

Palka tied Gleyber Torres for second in home runs among American League rookies, trailing only Miguel Andujar (21). Palka is sixth among rookies with 53 RBI.

The Sox (51-79), who took three of four from the Tigers and won for the ninth time in 12 games, have averaged five runs per game without Abreu, who is on the disabled list with a .272/.331/.491 hitting line, 22 homers and 78 RBI.

Chicago White Sox's Daniel Palka is greeted in the dugout after his two-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in Detroit. (AP)

“The guys have all done an admirable job of doing what they can, staying within themselves,’’ manager Rick Renteria said. “Their approaches have been pretty solid. You have to give them all the credit in the world because they’re picking each other up knowing where we’re at without Pito. They’re not trying to do too much and hopefully, knock on wood, it continues.’’

Said Palka: “The last time we faced [Zimmermann], he kind of went from showing me his heater to showing me more offspeed, and I was looking for something soft and it just kind of hung over the outside part of the plate.”

Yoan Moncada tripled in a run for the Sox, whose first five runs came after two outs. Tim Anderson drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh, scoring Adam Engel, who had two hits.

Abreu is “doing well” after having outpatient surgery on his groin area Tuesday, Renteria said. Abreu is on the disabled list and likely won’t resume baseball activities for another week.

“We have to get him acclimated back to baseball activity before we get him in the game but he’s doing well,’’ said Renteria, who has been in contact with the Sox’ All-Star via text messages.

Swinging it

Left-handed-hitting catcher Omar Narvaez’s .362 average since June 7 is the highest in baseball for hitters with at least 145 plate appearances. Since
June 1, Narvaez has six homers, seven doubles and 21 RBI, and he added two hits, including a double, on Sunday.

“Basically just seeing it and hitting it,’’ Narvaez said. “Trying not to do too much and using the whole field. Hitting is not easy, but I’m trying to keep it simple.’’

Welington Castillo’s 80-day suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy that began May 24 gave Narvaez more starts.

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Kopech gets first win

Carlos Roll-don

The Sox open a three-game series at Yankee Stadium with Monday starter Carlos Rodon, who is 4-0 with a 1.60 ERA and .148 opponents batting average over his last seven starts.

Rodon’s streak of eight quality starts is the longest by a Sox pitcher in a single season since Jose Quintana had nine in a row in 2015.

The last word

Catcher Kevan Smith, on his “Webby” home run Saturday, his first long ball of the season. He wore the nickname of deceased friend and teammate Daniel Webb: “Can’t make that up. First swing. Crazy. What’s even crazier is I was in the cage before that and I felt absolutely horrible.”