Chicago White Sox: Mark McGwire

Extra bases: Buehrle matchup in works

June, 19, 2014
Jun 19
9:00
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Just when the Chicago White Sox finally looked to be enjoying their own hitter-friendly ballpark in the warmer weather, now comes a whopper three-city road trip.

The White Sox will open an 11-game tour on Thursday night with the first of four games at Minnesota. From there they travel to Baltimore for three tilts and Toronto for another four contests.

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What American League Central team stands to give the White Sox the toughest time between now and the end of the season?

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If the weather holds out between now and the last weekend of the month, former White Sox staff ace Mark Buehrle is lined up to face his old team on June 28 at Toronto.

How much the White Sox will be scoring runs by then remains to be seen. The White Sox were third in the American League with 168 runs in home games, but were 11th with 144 runs on the road. It comes as no surprise that they are 20-18 in their own park, even after a four-game losing streak this past weekend. They are just 14-19 in road games.

In Chris Sale’s opinion, the White Sox simply need to attack the upcoming games with reckless abandon.

“Our guys, they’re tough,” Sale said after his victory over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday. “They just keep grinding. We know we didn’t play well against Kansas City [over the weekend], but put it behind you and you keep going.

“The schedule keeps going and it doesn’t stop. If you want to look in the rear-view mirror and wallow on that, you’re going to get beat a lot more. These guys seem to stay with it and grind it out.”

The White Sox also return to division play Thursday. And with American League Central teams bunched up so tightly, every win over the most common of opponents will weigh large.

“We’re where we kind of want to be,” Adam Dunn said. “Obviously don’t want to be six, or seven, or whatever back we are, but we’re right there playing good baseball. Baseball is a 162-game season, and I can see this division coming down to that 162nd game, actually.”

Read all about it: Here is the Rapid Reaction from Wednesday’s 7-6 victory over the San Francisco Giants. … After meeting with the coaching staff over a baserunning miscue Tuesday, Jose Abreu rebounded in fine style Wednesday. … Former manager Ozzie Guillen was in attendance Wednesday.

Keep an eye on this: The White Sox are 18-10 at Minnesota’s Target Field, where they open a four-game series Thursday. Chicago went 6-3 there in 2011, 7-2 in 2012 and 5-5 last season.

Question of the day: After hitting his 20th home run Wednesday, what are the chances Abreu catches Mark McGwire’s rookie record of 49 home runs in a season?

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.17 208 174
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Abreu .317
HRJ. Abreu 36
RBIJ. Abreu 107
RA. Ramirez 82
OPSJ. Abreu .964
ERAC. Sale 2.17
SOC. Sale 208