An imposing slugger such as Jose Abreu is a viable threat anywhere in the White Sox batting order, any day of the week.

"I wouldn't necessarily bat him leadoff, but other than that, any spot in the lineup would be a good one," manager Robin Ventura said. "But you want him to get up there more times than not with guys on base."

Abreu batted third Friday instead of cleanup, and the American League Rookie of the Month for June is off to a booming start in July. He launched his 27th home run in a four-run fifth inning in support of Chris Sale (8-1) as the Sox stomped the Mariners 7-1 in front of 30,297 at U.S. Cellular Field.

"The important thing is that you're playing," Abreu said of his variable slot in the batting order. "And the second thing is that you are doing something to help the team."

Said Ventura: "There are times when I think we're better off with (Abreu) batting third. And there are times, when Conor (Gillaspie) is 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 he comes to the plate."

The Sox took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Dayan Viciedo (4-for-4) launched his 10th homer.

Abreu's two-run homer made it 5-0. The four-run inning also included an RBI double by Adam Eaton and a sacrifice fly by Gordon Beckham.

"It surprised me," Abreu said through a team interpreter of his line-drive shot to left-center. "I thought it was going to go against the fence. When I saw it went out, I just said I thank God for it."

Abreu extended his hitting streak to 18 games, the longest by a Sox rookie since Pete Ward strung together 18 in 1963.

"I wasn't even aware of it until my dad told me," Abreu said of his streak. "He was like, 'You are getting hits.' I'm trying to do something to help every day, whether it's an RBI, playing defensively. I'm trying to do something that helps the team. That's my goal. I'm not thinking about other things."

Viciedo has four homers in his last seven games.

"I still have the same plan. I'm still doing my routine and working on the things I've got to do," he said through the interpreter. "I felt like a few weeks ago I was hitting the ball hard, just right at people. Nothing different. I just continue to do what I've been doing."

Paul Konerko, playing in his final July 4 game, hit a two-run homer in the eighth and took a curtain call from the dugout.