Rangers-White Sox Preview

The Associated Press

Tyler Flowers, Jose Abreu and Mother Nature were vital to the Chicago White Sox continuing their home success against the Texas Rangers.

With rain expected again Tuesday, Flowers and Abreu go for another big offensive display in the middle game of this series with the lowly Rangers.

Chicago (55-58) beat Texas for the eighth time in nine meetings at U.S. Cellular Field, with Monday's 5-3 rain-shortened win.

Flowers and Abreu did the damage before the game was called in the seventh inning, combining for five hits while driving in all the White Sox's runs.

Abreu leads the majors with 31 homers and 86 RBIs to become the first White Sox rookie to hit those marks since Ron Kittle finished 1983 with 35 homers and 100 RBIs. He's also the first rookie in the majors to reach those numbers after 98 games since Mark McGwire had 37 and 86, respectively, in 1987.

Abreu was named AL player and rookie of the month for July, thanks to his .374 average.

"I don't really like to talk about myself, but I am surprised," Abreu said through a translator. "I wasn't expecting to have all this success, definitely not all these awards."

Flowers has also been impressive. The catcher is hitting .458 with three homers and 13 RBIs in 15 games, improving his season average 39 points to a career-high .252. He is 7 for 19 (.368) over seven home meetings with the Rangers, coming a double shy of the cycle while driving in three runs Monday.

"The way he's been swinging the bat and doing things, you feel pretty confident when he goes up there," manager Robin Ventura said.

Offensive production could be key with John Danks (9-6, 4.50 ERA) on the mound, since he owns an 8.27 ERA in three starts since the All-Star break.

The offense bailed him out in Thursday's 7-4 win at Detroit, when he allowed four runs and two homers with four walks and a hit batter in five innings while not getting a decision.

The left-hander is 1-0 with a 2.49 ERA in four home starts against the Rangers (43-69), with all of them ending in White Sox wins.

Texas has lost the first four of a nine-game trip, and turns to Colby Lewis (7-8, 5.98), who was solid in Wednesday's 3-2 win over the New York Yankees. The right-hander yielded a pair of solo homers in seven innings - his longest outing since June 17, 2012, a span of 21 outings.

Lewis missed the second half of 2012 due to elbow surgery and all of the following year while undergoing an unprecedented hip procedure for a major league pitcher that was just short of a full hip replacement.

He's compiled a 3.44 ERA and a 1-2 record over his last three starts.

"I was definitely an adjustment period getting used to a prosthetic hip, I guess," Lewis said. "As the weeks have kind of transitioned into the second half, I feel like every time I take the mound, I feel like I'm getting stronger, my mechanics are sharper."

Lewis has a 1.33 ERA while winning three straight starts against the White Sox, allowing one run in 5 1-3 innings of a 6-3 victory April 19. He tossed a five-hitter in a 4-0 win in his last visit to the South Side on May 16, 2011.

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