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Diamondbacks-White Sox Preview

AP - Sports

The Arizona Diamondbacks appeared to be headed in the right direction before running into Jose Abreu in the opener of a three-game road set with the Chicago White Sox.

The Cuban rookie slugger will try to continue his red-hot run at U.S. Cellular Field and help the White Sox to a sixth win in seven games Saturday night.

Since posting a major league-worst 6.34 ERA during an 8-22 start, Arizona starters seemed to have things turned around with a 2.35 mark during a 5-2 stretch. However, that promising run ended Friday when former Chicago pitcher Brandon McCarthy allowed seven runs over 3 1-3 innings in a 9-3 defeat.

Abreu led the way by going 3 for 4 with his major league-leading 13th homer - a 442-foot blast on a 3-0 pitch in the seventh inning. He knocked in two runs against the NL-worst Diamondbacks (13-25), giving him an AL-best 37.

The first baseman has certainly been comfortable at home, going 16 for 38 with four home runs and 13 RBIs in his last nine games there. He served as the designated hitter Friday as a precaution, but showed no signs of a nagging left ankle injury.

''We'll probably do the same thing tomorrow, DH him and try to get him a couple of days off on the road," said bench coach Mark Parent, who filled in for manager Robin Ventura in the postgame news conference although Ventura managed.

The surging White Sox (19-18) have put up at least 10 hits in four straight contests, totaling 27 runs with a .340 average. They've also won five of six after matching a season high with four consecutive losses.

Abreu and Chicago will try to keep swinging the bats well against Arizona's Wade Miley (2-3, 5.14 ERA), who has gone 0-2 with a 5.90 ERA in five starts since winning in Colorado on April 6.

After allowing 12 runs over 11 innings in his two previous starts, the left-hander gave up three runs in seven innings in a 4-3 loss at San Diego on Sunday. He did not factor in that decision as the Padres pushed across the winning run in the ninth.

Miley, who faces the White Sox for the first time, is 2-1 with a 1.30 ERA in four career interleague road starts.

Chicago hasn't done much scoring for left-hander Jose Quintana (1-2, 3.56), totaling eight runs of support in his last five outings. He's hoping to build on Monday's performance when he allowed one run and one hit over seven innings in a 3-1, 12-inning victory at Wrigley Field.

''He was great,'' said Ventura, who will miss this game to attend the college graduation of his daughter. ''Q had a little extra life on it.''

Quintana will likely have to contend with Paul Goldschmidt, who looks to get back on track after going hitless in four at-bats Friday to end a nine-game hitting streak in which he went 18 for 40 with four home runs.

The slugging first baseman also had hit .404 with three homers over a 12-game run on the road.

Chicago's Tyler Flowers went 2 for 4 with a solo shot in the opener, while Alexei Ramirez had a grand slam on a 3-0 pitch during a seven-run fourth inning. Ramirez, batting a team-best .342, has six hits in the last two games.

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