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Abreu homers again as White Sox defeat Dodgers

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The Canadian Press
6/4/2014 1:37:55 AM
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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - After 19 consecutive starts without a victory, Hector Noesi finally got one against the struggling Los Angeles Dodgers. And his teammates were just as happy as he was to see the drought end.

Jose Abreu homered for the second straight game after coming off the disabled list, and Tyler Flowers also went deep to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 4-1 victory on Tuesday night.

"It was good for Hector to get that off his back, and hopefully it just keeps going for him," manager Robin Ventura said. "You're happy for him with everything he's been through this year — being on a bunch of teams. And pitching the way he did tonight was a little icing on the cake. For him to go through a lineup like that was impressive."

Noesi (1-3) won as a starter for the first time since May 6, 2012 with Seattle, after going 0-12 with a 5.42 ERA. The 27-year-old right-hander allowed a run and five hits over six innings with six strikeouts.

Noesi walked three of his first nine batters, but all the Dodgers could get out of it was a sacrifice fly in the second inning by Dee Gordon.

"He was effectively wild and didn't really give us much to hit," Los Angeles catcher Drew Butera said. "He had a really good changeup, which is his pitch, and he threw it in fastball counts. When we were sitting on the fastball, he didn't really give us the same look on any one fastball."

Former Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save.

"I think tonight he was a little fired up and had some adrenaline going," Ventura said. "That's what happens anytime a guy goes back and sees his former team."

Dan Haren (5-4) gave up four runs on six hits through six innings. Abreu put the right-hander in a 2-0 hole right away with his team-high 17th homer, driving an 0-1 pitch into the lower seats in the left field corner after Gordon Beckham doubled off the top of the fence in left.

On Monday, Abreu came off the disabled list and opened the scoring with a two-run shot against Clayton Kershaw before the Dodgers rallied.

Abreu is this year's Cuban rookie sensation. Yasiel Puig was last year's, and he's been even better so far this season — even if he is still sometimes a bit unpredictable. The right fielder was tardy for an earlier-than-usual pregame workout with his teammates.

Unlike opening day, when manager Don Mattingly scratched him from the lineup for being late for batting practice, Puig remained in the third spot in the order and doubled his first time up. He went 2 for 4 with a double for the Dodgers on the one-year anniversary of his major league debut.

Haren, who has walked no more than two batters in 11 of his 12 starts, issued a leadoff walk to Adam Eaton and Abreu drove him in with a fielder's choice grounder for Chicago's second run. Flowers increased the margin to 3-1 in the fourth with his 27th big league homer — and his first to the opposite field.

"We know he's got a few different weapons," Flowers said. "And even though he doesn't throw overly hard, he changes speeds well and can make the ball move in every direction. So you kind of pick a half of the plate and stick with that. "

The defending NL West champions put two men on base with two out in the seventh and eighth innings, but Zack Putnam escaped both threats by retiring Adrian Gonzalez and Dee Gordon on flyballs to centre field.

"We're struggling to put a few wins together, but we're not down. We're still optimistic," Butera said.

NOTES: On the eve of the Los Angeles Kings' showdown with the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, former Dodger 3B Ron Cey said he would be rooting against the Rangers because they eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round. Cey's nickname has always been "The Penguin" because of the way he ran the bases. ... Puig was named NL Player of the Month for May, after batting .398 with eight homers and 25 RBIs in 28 games. His 43 hits tied Willie Davis' L.A. Dodger record for that month. Puig received the same honour last June. ... White Sox LF Adam Dunn started in the cleanup spot, despite the fact that he came in 2 for 18 lifetime against Haren with eight strikeouts. Ventura gave Dunn the night off on Monday against Kershaw, even though he was 8 for 13 with four home runs against the two-time Cy Young Award winner.

Jose Abreu (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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