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Cubs left-hander Jon Lester says White Sox should be team to be reckoned with in AL Central

‘‘They’re right there,’’ Lester said. ‘‘Now it’s just a matter of playing the 162 [games] and seeing where they are at the end. That division is definitely there for the taking for them.’’

Cubs left-hander Jon Lester allowed one run in his outing Friday against the Sox at Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz.
Cubs left-hander Jon Lester allowed one run in his outing Friday against the Sox at Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz.
Sue Ogrocki/AP

SOX 6, CUBS 3

Lester warns the AL Central

Left-hander Jon Lester might play for the Cubs, but he can appreciate what the White Sox have done with their roster.

Lester allowed one run and struck out six in 2 2/3 innings Friday against the White Sox at Sloan Park, but he acknowledged it was a working man’s outing.

‘‘I felt like last year they didn’t quite play to where they should have,’’ Lester said of the Sox. ‘‘Their lineup was very, very talented. They had a lot of different dynamics in there. You got [right-hander Lucas] Giolito coming out. Like, he’s a dude now. Like, he’s the No. 1 guy.’’

Giolito made his spring debut with a scoreless inning opposite Lester.

‘‘I like where they’re at,’’ Lester said. ‘‘That lineup today, I don’t know if that was all nine of their [starters] or if there’s a few guys fighting close. It’s a good lineup. It’s a really good lineup now. I know they signed the lefty kid that came in there, [Aaron] Bummer. God dang, that’s a hell of an arm in the back of your bullpen there.’’

General manager Rick Hahn talked about the Sox making life tough on opponents this season. Lester thinks the teams in the American League Central had better take notice.

‘‘So they’re right there,’’ Lester said. ‘‘Now it’s just a matter of playing the 162 [games] and seeing where they are at the end. That division is definitely there for the taking for them.’’

Abreu goes deep

Slugger Jose Abreu delivered his first home run of the spring, a two-run shot in the fourth inning against Cubs right-hander Dan Winkler. Outfielder Adam Engel also homered for the Sox.

‘‘My goal is just to stay healthy, feel good, feel strong,” Abreu said through an interpreter. ‘‘I’m just getting all those goals right now, especially just being around these guys and feeling the energy we have right now.’’

On deck

Sox at Giants, Scottsdale, 2:05 p.m. Saturday, Dallas Keuchel vs. Shaun Anderson. Alex Colome, Codi Heuer, Jose Ruiz, Kodi Medeiros, Bryan Mitchell and Bernardo Flores Jr. also are scheduled to pitch.