While no pitcher has found a way to slow down Jose Abreu, an ankle injury may be the only thing that keeps the stellar Chicago White Sox rookie off the base paths.
The White Sox are hopeful a banged-up Abreu will be ready to play Friday night when they host the surging Arizona Diamondbacks in the opener of a three-game weekend series.Abreu, who leads the majors with 12 home runs and tops the American League with 35 RBIs, injured his left ankle in Thursday's 12-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs. The first baseman was removed for a pinch hitter in the ninth inning."He just seemed like he was limping a little bit tonight, that's why in the end there I (took) him out," said manager Robin Ventura. "But he says he's fine."The White Sox (18-18) had won four straight prior to the setback against their crosstown rivals. The offense has been carrying the load with 35 hits in the last three games. Gordon Beckham has led the way, hitting .368 in the four games versus the Cubs.The Diamondbacks (13-24) have been playing well after a horrid start to the season, winning five of their last seven games.Bronson Arroyo threw 7 1/3 innings while allowing just one unearned run to lead Arizona to a 3-2 victory over Milwaukee on Wednesday."This whole road trip I think our bats are getting better. We're starting to drive the ball a little bit," manager Kirk Gibson said. "We're starting to get better."Arizona, looking to match a season best with a third straight win, has batted .284 with 13 extra-base hits over the first six on a nine-game road trip.Diamondbacks right-hander Brandon McCarthy will look to stay on track after earning his first victory in his last outing. McCarthy (1-5, 4.67 ERA) threw seven scoreless innings and allowed three hits in a 4-3 win over San Diego on Saturday.In his last two starts, he's struck out 18 and walked just two."(McCarthy) was good, he was hitting his spots," catcher Miguel Montero said. "He was locating his fastball, he was locating his breaking ball and expanding, too. He got quick outs, that's a good thing. He was throwing good first pitch with good location and he got them to swing the bat and get quick outs."McCarthy, who was drafted by the White Sox in 2002 and pitched for them from 2005-06, is 1-1 versus Chicago with a 3.50 ERA in three career starts. He has struggled at U.S. Cellular Field, allowing 17 home runs in 33 career games at the ballpark.Andre Rienzo will start for the White Sox coming off his roughest outing of the year. Rienzo (2-0, 4.50) allowed seven hits, including a pair of home runs, in 4 2/3 innings of a 4-3 loss at Cleveland on Sunday. He did not factor in the decision after his shortest outing in three starts this season.The Diamondbacks are 5-4 all-time against the White Sox, whom they haven't faced since 2011. On their only trip to Chicago's South Side, the Diamondbacks won two of three from June 13-15, 2005.