September 20, 2014
LOS ANGELES — It’s almost like he never left. Jose Abreu homered for the second consecutive night since coming off the disabled list and Hector Noesi ended a horrendous personal losing skid in the Sox’ 4-1 victory over the Dodgers on Wednesday night.
Abreu hit his 17th homer, a two-run shot that landed near the 330-foot sign not far from the left field foul pole, against Dan Haren in the first inning to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead.
Noesi (1-4) allowed one run over six innings to get the win after 14 consecutive career losses. Noesi has allowed five runs over his last three starts.
Abreu, who played first base, has four homers and 10 RBI over his last nine games.
After hitting .367 in April, Tyler Flowers was hitting .205 since May 1. But he hit a solo home run with two outs in the fourth inning to pad the Sox lead to 4-1.
“I knew that first month I was having some good fortune as far as balls finding holes,’’ Flowers said.
A career .200 hitter going into the season, Flowers believes he’s still in a good place to maintain consistency with “a solidified game plan which makes you swing at better pitches,’’ he said. He’s also finishing with one hand, which keeps him in the zone longer and helps with offspeed pitches.
“It’s a whole different challenge to stick with that plan to lay off pitches you don’t want to swing at and sometimes it looks bad because you weren’t looking for those,’’ Flowers said.
After playing through some minor physical issues related to catching, Flowers is getting back to 100 percent again.
Adam Dunn was back in the lineup, playing left field, after sitting out Monday with what he called a good old-fashioned benching by manager Robin Ventura. He went 0-for-4.
Dunn, who has been a productive hitter despite a .222 batting average, said he hasn’t been right for about a week and a half. That’s why Ventura sat him Monday versus left-hander Clayton Kershaw, against whom Dunn is 8-for-13.
He’s 10-for-61 with three homers, 11 RBI and 16 walks over his last 19 games.
“I’m not driving in runs like I need to be driving in,’’ said Dunn, who had two hits and one RBI in his previous seven games. “That’s it. I feel like I’ve left a bunch out there. With guys on you have to bear down and find a way to get them in.’’
While starting pitchers were 7-6 with a 2.14 ERA since May 20 going into Tuesday’s game, Sox hitters are cooling off after a hot start, batting .206 with 21 runs scored in their last eight games.
Adam Eaton is 3-for-5 over his last nine games, Alejandro De Aza is 5-for-51 in his last 20, and Dayan Viciedo was hitless in his last nine at-bats and hitting .214 since May 1 after hitting .348 in April.
“You go through ruts, even lineup-wise, you lose some guys and it changes,’’ Ventura said, alluding to Abreu’s recent two-week absence because of a sore ankle. “The season is so long and you go through ruts like most lineups do.’’