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Series preview: White Sox at Dodgers

The Chicago White Sox will move closer to full strength Monday night when Jose Abreu returns to action for the three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

Abreu has missed the past 13 games with tendonitis in his left ankle, an injury that took a team-leading 15 home runs and 42 RBIs out of the lineup.

In the early part of Abreu's absence, the White Sox figured out ways to manufacture runs, but things have been much more difficult of late. The White Sox are batting just .214 combined over their past seven games and went from the fifth inning of Tuesday's game against the Cleveland Indians to the second inning of Sunday's game against the San Diego Padres between home runs.

Having Abreu return during a series at a National League park isn't ideal since the rookie will have to play in the field if he wants to get into the three games. The team won't have the designated hitter spot at their disposal until Friday when they open a three-game series across town against the Los Angeles Angels.

During the first month and a half of the season it was the clear that as Abreu goes, so goes the White Sox's offense. Now that he returns to a team that is getting excellent starting pitching, is it finally time for the White Sox to sync up all parts of their game?

"I mean you would like it to be that way, but I don't want to put it all on Jose, that as soon as he's back he has to do that," manager Robin Ventura said. "Competitively, the way they show up and the way the go about it, that's the promising part is they do compete."

Ventura said he would be open to playing Adam Dunn in left field during the series to make sure he can get another power bat in the lineup.

HEAD TO HEAD

Dunn is one of the few left-handed hitters with huge success against Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw, going 8-for-13 (.615) with four home runs and nine RBIs. ... Kershaw is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two career starts against the White Sox, the highest ERA he has against any team he has started against at least twice. ... Dunn is just 2-for-18 (.111) against Dodgers right-hander Dan Haren, but one of those hits was a home run. Paul Konerko is 8-for-21 (.381) lifetime against Haren. ... Alexei Ramirez has the most at-bats of any White Sox player against Dodgers right-hander Josh Beckett, going 4-for-16 (.250). ... The Dodgers' Andre Ethier has struck out three times in three at-bats against White Sox lefty Jose Quintana. ... In three at-bats against White Sox lefty John Danks, the Dodgers' Hanley Ramirez has a double and a home run.

NOTES

Despite losing two of three to the San Diego Padres this past weekend, the White Sox have won eight of their last 13 games. ... The White Sox are just 3-6 against National League West teams this season, with three games against the Dodgers this week and four remaining against the San Francisco Giants later this year. ... After Chris Sale allowed one run over nine innings to the Padres on Sunday, White Sox starters have a 2.31 ERA over the past 12 games and have held opponents to a .201 batting average over that span. ... The Dodgers' Yasiel Puig had a club record 43 hits in May and has reached base safely in 33 consecutive games. ... This will be the fifth interleague series between the White Sox and Dodgers. The White Sox lead the all-time series 12-6 and have a winning record at both U.S. Cellular Field (7-2) and Dodger Stadium (5-4).

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Monday: White Sox LH Jose Quintana (3-4, 3.61 ERA) vs. Dodgers LH Clayton Kershaw (3-2, 3.57), 9:10 p.m. CST

Tuesday: White Sox RH Hector Noesi (0-3, 4.33) vs. Dodgers RH Dan Haren (5-3, 3.28), 9:10 p.m. CST

Wednesday: White Sox LH John Danks (3-5, 4.66) vs. Dodgers RH Josh Beckett (3-2, 2.52), 9:10 p.m. CST