Three wins. Thats whats most important to Paul Konerko and the White Sox.
It doesnt matter that those three wins came against the two-time defending American League champion Texas Rangers, who also happen to own a major-league high 50 wins this season.
The White Sox completed a three-game home sweep of the Rangers with a 2-1 victory Tuesday. The sweep came on the heels of a four-game series split with the New York Yankees, who have the top winning percentage in the major leagues.
I dont think you make too much of it, Konerko said of beating the Rangers. You catch teams at different times, different periods in the year. I know teams have caught us when we didnt have it going, and got us good. So I dont think we really think about who its against as much as were just happy to get the wins.
The wins against the Rangers came in three different ways: a blowout (19-2 in the opener), a comeback (5-4 in 10 innings Wednesday), and a pitcher's duel (2-1 Thursday).
Recently-acquired Kevin Youkilis had an impressive series in his White Sox debut at U.S. Cellular Field. He drove in four runs in the first game before collecting game-winning RBIs in the final two games, including a sixth-inning home run Thursday.
But like Konerko, the veteran said the midweek sweep doesnt prove anything.
You have to play to your strengths and play the game -- you cant measure, Youkilis said. Its way too early to do that stuff. Once you get to the playoffs, the best team can get knocked out in the first round. But it is always good to beat the teams that are in first place.
The White Sox improved to 45-37, moving eight games over .500 to match a season high. They hold a 2 12-game lead over Cleveland, which plays later Thursday, and are 4 12 games ahead of Detroit, the preseason favorite to win the AL Central.
They swept the Rangers for the first time since 2001, in earning their sixth sweep of the season. They also snapped the Rangers major league-leading streak of 52 consecutive series without being swept. It was the first time the Rangers had been swept by anybody since June of 2011, when the Yankees did it.
After a poor start to the season at home, Chicago is now above .500 at U.S. Cellular Field for the first time since being 2-1 on April 15. The White Sox have done that by going 15-8 over their past 23 home games.
Added all together, and it appears the White Sox should be considered a pretty good team. Just dont expect them to use words like good or great.
We can play with anybody, manager Robin Ventura said. Somebody else is going to have to describe that. We just keep playing.