CHICAGO (AP) — Even after spending two weeks on the disabled list, Jose Abreu easily leads the Chicago White Sox in home runs and RBIs.
The Cuban rookie is set to return Monday, and manager Robin Ventura was asked whether his struggling hitters are looking ahead to the return of the cleanup man.
"I hope they're not waiting around for that," Ventura said Saturday after a 4-2 loss to the San Diego Padres.
"He is coming back, but you still have to play the game. They've been good so far of just staying focused in the moment and going through it. You get a couple of days where it just doesn't look good," he said.
Abreu ranks among the major league leaders with 15 homers and 42 RBIs despite missing time because of tendinitis in his left ankle.
Before the game, the White Sox got a scare when Abreu was hit by a pitch just above the left elbow during a simulated game on the field and went down in pain.
Abreu got up and took about several more at-bats after receiving treatment.
"He's fine," Ventura said. "He took one in the upper arm, but he's fine."
Abreu is expected to do another simulated game on Sunday.
Minus Abreu, the White Sox have scored more than three runs in only two of their last 10 games.
Will Venable had a season-high four hits and drove in two runs to help the Padres win. San Diego improved to 20-4 this season when scoring four or more runs.
Tyson Ross (6-4) limited the White Sox to two runs — one earned — on five hits in six innings, and Huston Street remained perfect in 17 save chances this season.
"It was a battle today," Ross said. "The guys gave me a lead early. It wasn't very comfortable though. They were in striking distance the whole time. They're a good-hitting team."