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White Sox hope to have Abreu back for opener with Dodgers

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago White Sox pitched well enough over the weekend to record a sweep, but their bats were unable to complement the work done on the mound.

As luck would have it, the White Sox are expected to have slugger Jose Abreu back in the lineup on Monday night when they begin a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Following a three-game sweep of Cleveland, the White Sox dropped their first two tests of a three-game set with the San Diego Padres and were outscored 8-3. However, they avoided getting swept by posting a 4-1 victory, only the second time in the past seven games the club managed more than three runs in a game.

Paul Konerko and Tyler Flowers both homered, with Konerko ending with three RBI.

Chris Sale did the work on the mound, striking out nine in his first complete game of the season. He allowed the one run on two hits to become the first White Sox hurler to begin a season 5-0 since Mark Buehrle in 2009.

"I just tried to do what I always do. I tried to fill up the zone, throw quality strikes and get as deep as I can into games," said Sale. "As a starting pitcher, that's your job."

Abreu's job is to crush the ball and he was doing so at a solid pace before getting sidelined with inflammation in his left ankle. The rookie hit 15 homers and drove in 42 runs in 44 games before getting shut down following his last appearance on May 17.

His return less than a month later could provide a huge spark for Chicago.

"Unfortunately the last couple of days our offense has been down, but that's part of baseball," Abreu told Chicago's website. "You have ups and downs. You're going to go through those, whether I'm here or not, they can do it. It's a team. I don't feel pressure that I have to come in and do anything different."

Nor does tonight's starter for the White Sox, Jose Quintana.

The left-hander has won two of his past three outings following a six-start winless streak and is coming off a 6-2 win over Cleveland last Monday. Quintana gave up two runs on five hits and two walks over six innings, moving to 3-4 with a 3.61 earned run average on the year.

Quintana has faced the Dodgers just once before and the 25-year-old pitched very well in a no-decision. He scattered five hits over eight scoreless innings back on June 17, 2012 in L.A., striking out six without a walk.

Abreu and Quintana will be tested by going up against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who is 3-2 with a 3.57 ERA in six starts. The left-hander has struck out 46 batters over 35 1/3 innings this season while giving up only seven walks.

Kershaw, though, lost 3-2 to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday. He yielded all three runs on seven hits over seven innings while matching a season high with nine strikeouts.

The 26-year-old is 0-1 in two previous meetings with the White Sox, posting a 5.40 ERA.

The Dodgers have lost four of their last five games and are coming off Sunday's 5-3 setback to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Justin Turner went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs, including a solo homer in the fourth frame that was the Dodgers' last hit until the ninth inning.

"We haven't had a whole lot of success with their (bullpen)," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Pittsburgh's relievers, a unit that took over in the sixth inning on Sunday.

Zack Greinke gave up a season-high four runs on five hits in six innings of work to take the loss. He had his streak of not giving up more than two earned runs end at 22 straight starts in his previous outing before facing the Pirates.

The Dodgers won two of three over the visiting White Sox in the last meeting in 2012.

06/02 10:35:31 ET