(AP) — After a positive road trip, the Chicago White Sox return home feeling confident that they can turn the season around. But finding success over their upcoming homestand could be difficult.
The White Sox hope to translate their road success to home Monday night when they face the defending AL champion Texas Rangers in the opener of a two-game set.
Chicago started its nine-game trip with a loss to Seattle before winning the next two and finishing the trek with series wins against the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland. The White Sox (17-24) have pulled within one game of .500 on the road, but their 5-11 home record is better than only Minnesota in the AL.
Mark Buehrle pitched into the seventh and Alexei Ramirez had three hits and two RBIs, including a solo home run, in Chicago’s 4-3 win over Oakland on Sunday.
“This game was huge because we end the road trip on a good note,” said manager Ozzie Guillen, whose team has lost nine of 10 at U.S. Cellular Field. “We need to go home and play better for our fans. They deserve it. We owe them one.”
Adam Dunn in particular is hoping he’s turning things around. Although Dunn went 0 for 3 Sunday, he hit .375 in eight games on the road trip. Dunn has struggled in his first season in Chicago, going 4 for 36 (.111) with 16 strikeouts.
Paul Konerko has been Chicago’s most consistent producer this season, and he picked up two more hits Sunday. Konerko is batting .469 (15 for 32) with two homers and four RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak.
This is the start of a seven-game road trip for Texas (21-19), which is 6-10 away from home, dropping seven of its last nine as visitors.
The Rangers gained a split of their eight-game homestand with a 5-4 victory over the Angels on Sunday.
Chris Davis drove in the tiebreaking run with an eighth-inning single and Mike Napoli threw out two base stealers, including Howie Kendrick on a game-ending play on the same pitch Alberto Callaspo struck out.
“We’re all looking to get going,” Napoli told the Rangers’ official website. “We caught some breaks today. … We just needed to win and will worry about Chicago tomorrow.”
The Rangers will open the series with Colby Lewis (3-4, 4.57 ERA) on the mound. Lewis has won of his last three starts while posting a 2.31 ERA. He allowed a solo home run in 7 1-3 innings of a 7-2 win over Oakland on Tuesday.
However, the right-hander is 1-3 with an 8.07 ERA in five starts against the White Sox, including 0-3 with an 11.15 ERA in three starts in Chicago. He’s surrendered seven homers in 15 1-3 innings at U.S. Cellular Field.
Edwin Jackson (3-4, 4.29) counters for Chicago seeking a third consecutive strong start.
After giving up one run in eight innings in a loss to Minnesota opposite Francisco Liriano’s no-hitter, Jackson allowed five hits in seven innings of an 8-0 win over the Angels last Monday.
The victory snapped Jackson’s four-game losing streak, during which the White Sox failed to score a run while he was on the mound.
“It was definitely a great feeling,” Jackson said. “When you look up and you have early run support, you don’t have to be as perfect and you can attack the hitters.”
The right-hander is 2-2 with a 3.67 ERA in six starts against the Rangers, but hasn’t faced them since 2009.
Texas won two of three in Chicago last year.
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