CHICAGO -- The numbers have been adding up for the Chicago White Sox:
A season-high five straight wins at home for the first time in nearly two years.
Nine wins in their last 10 games.
A .321 team average with 13 home runs on this six-game homestand.
A home run in 13 straight games.
Nine or more runs scored in four straight games for the first time since 1938.
A half-game behind the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central standings.
Impressive? Sure, but the Sox aren’t about to gloat over their recent string of success. After all, it’s not even June. That’s why any talk of the White Sox’s place in the standings seemed a bit premature following Sunday’s 12-6 win over Cleveland for a series sweep.
“I think we had confidence that we could do anything we wanted to do,” second baseman Gordon Beckham said. “We’ve got a lot of talent, we’ve got good pitching. It was all based on if we just did it or not. It’s not surprising. This division is always so up and down, we kind of knew we were gonna be in it at least until now, if not a lot longer, hopefully a lot longer. We’re not focused on that right now. We’re just not focused on standings right now. It’s more about showing up and doing our work, and hoping it’s good enough for that night and that night alone, not worrying about if we’re going to hold up ‘til the end of September. That’s just not a worry for us.”
Showing up and doing work has been the company line for the Sox this season. Manager Robin Ventura said there’s always pressure to perform, but with this team the pressure has nothing to do with past seasons.
“I don’t care about last year or the year before, it’s more of what these guys are doing now and applying it this year,” Ventura said.
The White Sox will try to ride this wave of hitting down to Tampa Bay, where they’ll play three games against a Rays team that’s 17-7 at home. Tampa’s pitching staff ranks second in the American League in strikeouts (384) and third in ERA (3.51).
While Paul Konerko has grabbed plenty of attention for his 13-game hitting streak, Alex Rios has hit in four straight, Beckham is coming off a four-hit game and Alexei Ramirez is coming off a three-hit game.
“That’s the makeup of a good team, when guys are in that revolving door of these two, three guys are hot and they cool off and two or three more guys get hot,” Konerko said.