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Opposing pitchers can't figure out Abreu

CHICAGO -- The book opposing pitchers are following to retire Jose Abreu needs to be rewritten.

Entering Friday's contest against the Indians at U.S. Cellular Field, the rookie first baseman topped the Major Leagues with 14 RBIs. He also had two multi-homer games in his last three played, a 1.108 OPS -- albeit in a small sample size -- and was on a ridiculous pace for 65 homers and 227 RBIs.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura has witnessed a little bit of everything employed in the attempt to shut down Chicago's marquee free-agent addition from Cuba.

"At first, everybody just thought they could throw him inside," said Ventura of Abreu. "He's been able to handle that, and now it's going to be the old pound him inside and soft away, the typical stuff that everybody says.

"He's been able to get at everything. If he's looking for it, he has a pretty good chance to hit it hard."

In a classic 12-pitch at-bat Tuesday in Colorado, Rockies reliever Chad Bettis came inside on seven pitches to Abreu before he hit a curveball for career homer No. 1. His second homer came off of a Wilton Lopez fastball.

The Indians' Danny Salazar worked Abreu away with the fastball and changeup Thursday night, before Abreu launched a hanging slider. Abreu connected on another slider from Josh Outman for his fourth home run of the season.

Through his first 40 at-bats, Abreu really hadn't noticed a true pattern as to how he was being pitched.

"I haven't," said Abreu through translator and White Sox director of public relations Lou Hernandez. "The way I've been pitched to is they try to get me out, trying any way to get me out. And I need to work around that. I need to work hard to adjust to any adjustments they've made."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.
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