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Abreu plays in Oakland finale, to rest Friday

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OAKLAND -- MLB home run leader Jose Abreu was penciled into Wednesday's starting lineup as the designated hitter for the sixth straight game since showing ankle discomfort while running the bases last week against the Cubs.

With Abreu in the order for the series finale against the A's, he will likely be on the bench to start Friday's series opener in Houston. Manager Robin Ventura wants to take advantage of Thursday's off-day to give Abreu consecutive days to rest his ankle, which has been an issue since Spring Training.

"He's going to fight it, but I think it's probably a good time to do that for him, just to get him two days," Ventura said. "He's still limping around. You look at it and you wince, but he is getting better. It might not look like it, but he is."

After hitting a game-winning three-run homer in Wednesday's 4-2 victory, Abreu leads the league with his 15 homers, 27 extra-base hits and 103 total bases while his 41 RBIs rank second. Abreu has started every game this season except for April 17, when he entered the game as a pinch-hitter.

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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