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Jose Abreu extends his on-base streak to 29 games

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Someone should tell Jose Abreu the White Sox are out of the pennant race this season.

The 29-year-old has transformed his OBP in the last month after reaching base safely in the last 29 consecutive games he’s started. On Friday, with Twins’ right-hander Kyle Gibson on the mound, Abreu rocked a line drive into center field during his first at-bat of the night and now sits just one game away from establishing a new franchise record:

It’s a positive turn for the Sox’ first baseman, who found himself mired in a hitting slump during the first half of 2016 and was staring at a .262/.325/.413 batting line heading into August. Notwithstanding his current on-base streak, FanGraphs still puts him at a career-worst mark of 0.8 Wins Above Replacement (fWAR), well below the 5.3 fWAR he carried in 2014.

Abreu credits White Sox assistant hitting coach Greg Sparks for getting him back on track this season, according to Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun Times.

Once he told me that we created a routine to take advantage of my hands. And the results have been there. He saw something, he told me and we started working on it on a daily basis. That’s been the key for me.

Will his adjustments at the plate be enough to dig the White Sox out of fourth place in the AL Central? Unlikely. But Abreu’s hitting like there’s no tomorrow, and no matter where his team ends up this season, that’s something to celebrate.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.