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Preview: White Sox At Indians

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[May 02, 2014]  The Chicago White Sox appear to have a monster on their hands in rookie slugger Jose Abreu, and according to teammate Adrian Nieto, he's only going to get better. "He hasn't heated up yet,'' Nieto, a fellow rookie Cuban and catcher, told USA Today. "When the weather warms up, that's when you're going to see a real beast.'' Abreu recorded 10 home runs and 32 RBIs in March and April, and tries to continue his hot start when Chicago visits the Cleveland Indians on Friday to begin a three-game set.

"Never in my life have I had to adapt to the cold. It's tough to deal with,'' the 27-year-old Abreu told USA Today. "But ever since leaving Cuba my mind-set has been to confront any adversity that comes up. I can't wait for the summer to arrive.'' The White Sox finished a 3-3 homestand with two straight losses to Detroit while the Indians lost all six games of their road trip to San Francisco and Anaheim and return home where they've won four of their last five. Cleveland's Danny Salazar is coming off his best start of the season and opposes John Danks, who has been a stabilizing force in a rotation which is without ace Chris Sales and Felipe Paulino.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, CSN Chicago, Sports Time Ohio (Cleveland)

PITCHING MATCHUP: White Sox LH John Danks (2-1, 3.48 ERA) vs. Indians RH Danny Salazar (0-3, 6.04)


Danks reeled off four consecutive quality starts to open the season before yielding four runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 4-0 loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Austin, Texas, native has struggled with his command, walking 17 while striking out 18 in 31 innings. Danks is 5-9 with a 5.04 ERA in 19 starts against the Indians but defeated them 7-3 on April 10, allowing three runs and six hits, and has struggled against Ryan Raburn (13-for-37, three home runs, nine RBIs).

Salazar allowed one run and five hits while striking out eight in seven innings and didn't receive a decision in Cleveland's 4-1 loss at San Francisco on Sunday. The 24-year-old Dominican Republic native lowered his ERA by 1.81 after struggling in three straight starts, allowing five runs in each turn and not getting out of the fifth inning in any of them. Salazar is 1-1 with a 4.97 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings against Chicago, and has been dominated by Alexei Ramirez (6-for-7, home run).

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WALK-OFFS

  1. Chicago took three of four from Cleveland from April 10-13 as Abreu homered twice and went 2-for-4 in the series opener, but was 1-for-11 in the last three games.

  2. The Indians on Friday were to determine whether 2B Jason Kipnis (right abdominal strain) would need to be placed on the 15-day disabled list.

  3. Ramirez (.351) set a franchise record with 40 hits in March/April, breaking the previous mark of 39 set by Paul Konerko in 2002.

PREDICTION: White Sox 3, Indians 2

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