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Ventura sticking with Abreu third

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CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu started his 42nd game in the third spot of the White Sox lineup Friday, one more than Conor Gillaspie. Manager Robin Ventura likes the versatility both players' offensive skill sets provide.

"There are times when I think we're better off with [Abreu] batting third," Ventura said. "And there are times, when Conor's swinging it good and depending on the matchup, it's nice to have Conor in front of him, get some more guys on base when he gets up there. I don't think there's any set way to do it with him but I know I like guys on when [Abreu] comes to the plate.

"Conor makes solid contact. Maybe not the home runs, even though he hit one the other day. As far as him putting it in play and getting it on the barrel, he's as good as we have. Abreu can bat anywhere. I wouldn't necessarily bat him leadoff, but other than that, any spot in the lineup would be a good one. You want him to get up there more times than not with guys on base."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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