6/23/2014 7:19 P.M. ET
Abreu starts at DH after tending to personal matter
By David Wilson / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- Jose Abreu spent Sunday night back in Chicago due to a personal matter. He made it to Oriole Park at Camden Yards in plenty of time for Monday's game against the O's, but because of the extended commute, the slugger served as the designated hitter for the series opener.
"He had a personal thing to attend to," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
Ventura said the first baseman's brief stint at DH has nothing to do with the left ankle injury that landed him on the disabled list earlier this season, and that it worked out to give Abreu a day off from the field during this lengthy road trip.
Paul Konerko started at first base and Adam Dunn was out of the starting lineup against left-hander Wei-Yin Chen.
The Sox, who were playing for the seventh consecutive day and the fifth game of an 11-game road swing, won't be off again until July 3.
"I'll probably see everybody at some point getting a day somewhere on this road trip," Ventura said. "It's a long stretch, and you've got to be able to keep guys fresh."
Abreu currently ranks third in the Majors with 21 home runs and is 16-for-48 with four homers in his last 12 games.
Abreu might not be struggling, but the White Sox are. Chicago has lost four in a row and seven straight on the road. Ventura hopes a bit of rest for everyone here and there can help his team kick its slump.
"We're struggling, losing games and guys are working hard to get out of it," he said. "Sometimes it's just better to take a step back."
Ventura: Rienzo still part of rotation -- for now
BALTIMORE -- Andre Rienzo is still a member of the White Sox starting rotation -- at least for now.
Rienzo's future in the rotation is still undecided, but when game notes were distributed prior to Monday's opener against the Orioles, the right-hander's name was listed as Thursday's starter opposite Toronto southpaw J.A. Happ.
"We're still going over that. As of right now he is," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. "We'll continue to sit there and talk about it."
Rienzo has lost five straight starts, most recently allowing four earned runs in just 4 1/3 innings during a loss to the Twins on Saturday. During the five-game skid, he has pitched 22 1/3 innings, allowed 22 earned runs and allowed opponents to bat .361 with a .557 slugging percentage.
Rienzo started the season well, winning his first four decisions, but the five losses have brought his record to 4-5 with a 5.86 ERA. If the Sox opt to replace him in the rotation, it is unlikely they would call up a replacement from Triple-A Charlotte. Pitcher Scott Carroll, who was moved to the bullpen after making five starts, would likely be Rienzo's replacement.
"Just where we sit right now," Ventura said, "it would be him if we did it."
Carroll went 1-3 with a 6.15 ERA as a starter. In six appearances out of the bullpen, the righty has a 1.83 ERA and .224 batting average against.
"You don't pitch quite as much, but you're able to still be a little fresher," Ventura said. "He's added his cutter. That just becomes a little bit better for him. Once you work on your sinker, you add a cutter to it, there's more things to look for."
Third to first
• Javy Guerra hasn't pitched since Tuesday against the Giants, but he's finally ready to return. The White Sox relief pitcher threw on the side while the team was in Minnesota, and he told Ventura that he felt fine.
• Chicago outfielder Adam Eaton entered Monday's game against the Orioles having reached safely in 17 straight games. It's the longest streak by a White Sox left-handed hitter since outfielder Juan Pierre reached in 18 straight during the 2011 season.
• Dunn had the day off against a lefty, but the first baseman is one home run away from passing Carl Yastrzemski for 35th all time. Both have 452 career homers. Konerko, meanwhile, has 438 homers and is one away from passing Andre Dawson for 42nd on the all-time list.
• Abreu leads the American League in both slugging percentage and at-bats per home run. Orioles outfielder Nelson Cruz ranks third and second in those categories, respectively.
David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.