The White Sox put three games between themselves and the Tigers in the American League Central with 16 games remaining and were finally able to knock the monkey known as the Tigers off their back in their final head-to-head meeting. The Tigers had beaten them 12 times this season.
At the same time, the White Sox wouldn’t allow themselves to get too high. As much as they were in good spirits following the win, they understood they still haven’t clinched anything.
“It feels like (a big win,)” White Sox designated hitter Paul Konerko said. “But like you said, they count the same. This is one of those where you are kind of getting into that last two weeks here, and we just haven’t had too much success against Detroit this year. It’s nice to beat them and take one game off the schedule. No more head-to-heads.
“There’s still a ton of time left. We are playing well right now, and with KC (Kansas City), we can’t let down. So we like the spot we are in, but we know there is a lot of work to be done.”
All of Konerko’s teammates delivered the same sort of message.
“It gives you a little relief until the end of the season,” White Sox right fielder Alex Rios said. “We still have to win games, and we have a couple tough series coming up. But being (up) two games, three games is way better than being (up) one.”
First baseman Adam Dunn said, “Yeah, definitely, (it’s a big win,) but only as big as we make it. If we go to Kansas City and not play well, it’s all for naught. Every one is big now. Tomorrow is the biggest game of the year. I’m not going to sit here and downplay, it but if we don’t go to KC and Anaheim and win games it means nothing. … If we’re up three with two to go, I’ll be really happy.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura has taken the season game by game, and Monday’s victory didn’t change that.
“Well, it's better,” Ventura said of the three-game lead. “It's better than being up by one. But again, tomorrow becomes a whole different game and different team. Just play and be sure you worry about yourself and not worry about anything else really. There's nothing you can do about them.”
The White Sox’s remaining schedule includes hosting the Cleveland Indians for three games and the Tampa Bay Rays for four games and traveling to the Kansas City Royals for three games, the Los Angeles Angels for three games and the Indians for three games.