Abreu fuels White Sox to series win over Tigers

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[September 08, 2016]  CHICAGO -- Most players offer a simple greeting or share a joke with the opposing first baseman when they reach base safely.

Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu approaches the meetings differently, particularly when the Detroit Tigers are in town. Abreu looks forward to his conversations with Tigers first basemen Miguel Cabrera, and their conversations often take the form of question-and-answer sessions.

"We always try to talk about offense, about hitting," Abreu said through a translator. "I take extra motivation every time that we play against the Tigers because I like to talk with him about offense, about how he hits, to pick some things up about him."

Abreu must be a good listener. He went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored as the White Sox rallied for a 7-4 win over the Tigers on Wednesday afternoon.

Tyler Saladino added three hits as Chicago (67-72) claimed the series victory. The White Sox scored four runs in the eighth inning to earn their fourth win in the past six games.

Detroit (75-64) dropped back-to-back games for the first time this month.

"Ultimately, the back end of the bullpen just had an off day," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "That's the thing about the back end of the bullpen. When they have an off day, you generally lose."

Tigers right-hander Shane Greene (3-4) absorbed the loss out of the bullpen. He allowed three runs on three hits while retiring only one White Sox hitter.

Chicago's eighth-inning rally erased a 4-3 deficit. Justin Morneau doubled to the wall in right-center field to drive in Abreu, who led off the inning with a single. Pinch runner J.B. Shuck replaced Morneau at second base and sprinted home on Avisail Garcia's single to center field to give the White Sox a 5-4 lead.

Saladino and Adam Eaton added run-scoring singles as Ausmus reached deeper into his bullpen.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura praised Abreu for helping to spark the comeback. Abreu is hitting .447 (17-for-38) with five home runs and 15 RBIs during his past six games.

"He gets it started," Ventura said. "If we can get some guys on, it seems he has the ability that's going to carry you. He's swinging it good. You can tell he's patient, as well. That's the biggest thing."

White Sox right-hander Chris Beck (2-1) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless relief innings to earn the win. David Robertson followed with a scoreless ninth inning to notch his 35th save.

Chicago's rally allowed left-hander Jose Quintana to preserve a no-decision despite a turbulent outing. In 6 2/3 innings, Quintana surrendered four runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out seven.

Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez also did not factor into the decision after an up-and-down start. Sanchez allowed three runs on eight hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out three.

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White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) celebrates with third baseman Todd Frazier (21) after their 7-4 win against the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Melky Cabrera drove in Tim Anderson with a double to left-center field.

The Tigers responded quickly to go ahead 3-1 in the second inning. After back-to-back singles by Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez, Justin Upton ripped a line-drive home run into the left-field bleachers. The blast marked Upton's 22nd home run of the season and his fourth in the past six games.

One inning later, a defensive miscue by Upton helped Chicago even the score at 3. Upton misjudged a soft fly ball from Cabrera, which fell in front of the left fielder and allowed Saladino to score from third base. Abreu followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center field to drive in Eaton.

Detroit regained a 4-3 lead in the seventh inning. Jose Iglesias hooked a ground-rule double down the left-field line to drive in James McCann and chase Quintana from the game.

The Tigers concluded a six-game road trip at 3-3.

"Down the stretch, we need to win every game that we can," McCann said. "So not getting the series win is frustrating, but at the end of the day, we've got to show up to the ballpark on Friday. We've got a big series with Baltimore."

NOTES: The start of the game was delayed by 40 minutes because of severe weather in the area. ... Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler returned to the lineup for the first time since a ground ball ripped the nail off his right middle finger on Sunday. ... White Sox RHP James Shields threw a bullpen session Wednesday and is scheduled to start Saturday against Kansas City, manager Robin Ventura said. Shields' next start had been in jeopardy because of tightness in his back. ... Tigers 3B Casey McGehee started his second game in a row since being promoted from Triple-A Toledo. ... White Sox C Omar Narvaez started his second straight game ahead of C Alex Avila.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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