Jose Abreu connects on first spring home run

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With questions about his homerless spring starting to surface, the Chicago White Sox's Jose Abreu hit his first Cactus League long ball Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies.

In the fifth inning, Abreu took one deep to left-center field off Rockies reliever Jairo Diaz. The White Sox ultimately fell 7-6 to the Rockies.

Over his first 12 spring games, Abreu had not put one out of the park, but he did enter Tuesday's game with a .588 slugging percentage, aided by two doubles and a triple over 34 at-bats. He also entered with a .471 batting average.

It was the first time Abreu had hit a home run in a White Sox uniform since Sept. 27. He hit 36 home runs last year, but only seven came after the all-star break as he appeared to wear down during his first 162-game season. In Cuba, teams generally play about 90-100 games in a season.

"It would be nice for guys to hit some homers, but for him, he's so focused on the approach right now of getting that thing right, but I think when you leave here you want to have that and the approach part trumps hitting homers," manager Robin Ventura said before the game about Abreu's home-run drought. "He can hit them and he's done it before so I don't expect him to not hit any homers this year."

There was little to no concern in the White Sox's clubhouse about Abreu's homerless run thus far.

"I didn't even know he didn't have a homer to this point; I really didn't,' said pitcher John Danks, who started Tuesday's game for the White Sox. "We've seen what he can do and we expect another big season out of him. He doesn't miss the barrel much and I'm glad he's on my team."

Danks delivered a solid start before he started to run out of gas during his longest outing of the spring. In the end, he went 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

"I feel real good about it," Danks said. "I was able to throw all my pitches where I wanted to and when I missed I missed on the side I wanted to. My changeup was much improved, both breaking balls were good, and, for the most part, I was throwing strikes with the fastball."