CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu possesses a knack for breaking out of slumps in a big way, and the Chicago White Sox's rookie first baseman did it again Monday against the Detroit Tigers.
Abreu broke out of a 1-for-17 slide by launching a two-run home run and going 2-for-4 in the White Sox's 6-5 win over the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field.
Chicago took the opener of a four-game series between the American League Central rivals.
"It has been impressive," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of the 27-year old Cuban slugger. "I don't look at him as a normal rookie. He's played enough and he's old enough and talented enough. You don't treat him like a normal rookie, but he's a good player, a good hitter and he's just getting his swing back."
After making outs in his first two trips to the plate, including an inning-ending double-play grounder in the third, Abreu hit his homer and a double in his next two at-bats. The homer, off Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello in the fifth, made it 5-2 White Sox a half-inning after the Tigers tied it 2-2 on a solo homer by rookie shortstop Eugenio Suarez.
"Early on they were going inside on him and jamming him, but he makes adjustments and that's the one thing that has been nice," Ventura said of Abreu. "He's continuing to make adjustments with what other teams are trying to do to him, and when he hits it on the barrel it goes a long way."
Detroit also got a solo homer by Miguel Cabrera, who was the designated hitter a day after leaving a game early because of tightness in his left hamstring. Cabrera went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
"It felt better," said Cabrera, who is now tied with Rudy York for seventh on the Tigers' all-time home run chart with 239 career home runs. "It felt better than (Sunday). Last couple innings it started getting tight again, but hopefully I can get back (Tuesday) in the field. I'm trying to get loose and trying to go out there and play."
The Tigers cut their deficit to 5-4 in the sixth on a two-run homer by first baseman Victor Martinez, but three White Sox relievers -- Scott Downs, Jake Petricka, Zach Putnam -- combined to throw 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Closer Ronald Belisario then recorded his sixth save by getting pinch hitter Torii Hunter to ground out to third to end the game, but not before Detroit plated a run and got the tying run to third base with one out.
Chicago (32-33) pulled within 3 1/2 games of division-leading Detroit (33-27) and has three more chances to make up ground in the series. It was the second straight loss for the Tigers, who have dropped seven of their last 10 games. But manager Brad Ausmus is not concerned just yet.
"If this was a young group of guys, I'd be concerned about some type of snowball effect," Ausmus said. "Because it's not, that doesn't concern me. We could've won (Sunday) night and didn't. We could've won tonight and didn't. I don't think with this group of guys that it's going to have a long-term effect."
The White Sox got off to a good start in the series by having some rare success against Porcello, who had defeated them in four consecutive outings dating back to last season. Porcello also threw the first complete game of his career Sept. 10, 2013, in his previous start on Chicago's south side.
This trip was not as kind.
Chicago scored six runs (five earned) on nine hits in five-plus innings off Porcello, and he was also responsible for the unearned run by committing a throwing error on a bunt by left fielder Alejando De Aza to start the sixth. De Aza scored on a single by center fielder Adam Eaton for Chicago's sixth run, which wound up deciding the game.
"That was a play where I just didn't think, and I just air-mailed it," Porcello said. "It was a stupid play and I deserved to come out of the game after that one."
Each of the top four hitters in the White Sox's lineup -- Eaton, second baseman Gordon Beckham, third baseman Conor Gillaspie and Abreu -- collected at least two hits and one RBI. Beckham led the team with three hits.
Despite allowing three home runs and lasting only 5 2/3 innings, White Sox right-hander Hector Noesi (2-4) picked up the victory.
NOTES: Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Miguel Cabrera, who was the designated hitter Monday, would be monitored daily after leaving Sunday's game early because of left hamstring tightness. ... White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said he isn't anticipating a difficult negotiation with the team's first-round draft pick, North Carolina State LHP Carlos Rodon, who is represented by agent Scott Boras. ... The White Sox came into the game ranked second to last in the American League with a .979 fielding percentage. "You've got to get better," manager Robin Ventura said. "The defense has to work for you." ... Ausmus said he isn't considering a demotion for struggling RHP Joe Nathan. "I'm not really thinking that far ahead," he said. "Right now, Joe is and has been the closer the whole year. The only times he hasn't closed have been games that I've felt it was best to give him a rest."