CHICAGO -- Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus certainly has seen enough of White Sox rookie first baseman Jose Abreu to be impressed.
Abreu entered Thursday's game batting 11-for-32 with four home runs and seven RBIs against the Tigers this season. That includes 5-for-8 with a double and two home runs in the first two games of the series that concluded Thursday.
"I love the way the guy carries himself," Ausmus said. "He just goes about his business. He's not flashy. He does his job. He has been impressive and certainly he has hurt us a number of times with his bat."
Abreu homered off Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander for the second time this season Wednesday night on a pitch Ausmus said was supposed to be inside but didn't quite make it there. As the season wears on and Abreu sees more of the game's top pitchers, Sox manager Robin Ventura said he thinks that some of them probably want to challenge the new standout.
"Especially with Jose being new, everybody hears about it, but until you see it you don't know where you stack up," Ventura said. "So I'm sure there's some of that (competitiveness) throughout the league."
Improving together: Sox catcher Adrian Nieto said he thinks the difference in John Danks' pitching has been "night and day" over his last four starts in which he has allowed five earned runs over 291/3 innings and limited opponents to a .178 batting average.
"Velocity, command, the sharpness of his pitches -- you can tell the difference," Nieto said. "(He's) making sure he doesn't get too high on his arm slot. He has been more consistent with that, so when he does that, it shows."
Ventura said Nieto has been paired with Danks for much of the season because Danks "pitches more of his own game and knows what he wants to throw," so he can help the rookie catcher. Nieto hopes that eventually he will get the chance to work with more pitchers, but he is fairly happy with what he has been able to do nearly every five games since making the jump from Class A.
"I'm hard on myself, so sometimes I get frustrated," said Nieto, who is hitting .271. "I at times forget the jump that I made. I lose track of that, I lose perspective of the big picture. They talk to me and say, 'Relax. It's a big jump. You're doing well.' It's nice to hear good things like that. It relaxes me."
Close calls: Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez and left fielder Alejandro De Aza had a couple of near collisions on balls hit to shallow left field in Wednesday's game against the Tigers, though neither play resulted in injury.
"It will happen with a guy, especially a shortstop in charge of the infield who doesn't want to give way," Ventura said. "He needs to understand that any time an outfielder calls him off he needs to get out of the way. They need to understand they need to peel off and let the outfielder get it. They have that responsibility."
New addition: The Sox acquired outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo from the Blue Jays in exchange for cash considerations Thursday and assigned him to Triple-A Charlotte.
(c)2014 Chicago Tribune
Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services