The White Sox wrapped up an eight-game road trip earlier this week. On Monday, they'll head out on another seven-game trip. And in their brief stint at home, they've got a date with one of the toughest teams in the American League.
It's not been easy sledding for the last-place White Sox, but despite their fifth-place standing in the AL Central, they're still in contention. After a 7-5 loss in the series opener against the Angels on Friday night, they are six games back of the first-place Tigers.
"It's nice to know that we are not 15 games back because the other team is running away with it," Chicago's Paul Konerko said. "But really I don't know if that's much of a concern right now. It's more just trying to get ourselves right, playing well and good ball consistently. We've had games here and there that have been OK."
The team in the opposite dugout this weekend has endured its fair share of struggles, as well. The Angels were expected to be a key player in the American League, boasting one of baseball's most formidable lineups, but they have sputtered out of the gates.
"You never know what's going to happen when you first start out," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of the Angels. "They've had some tough breaks losing guys. You've got to play them good because they're a good team. It might not show right now but you never know when it's going to happen."
The Angels' Jerome Williams and the South Siders' Jose Quintana will each try to propel their respective team in the right direction in the second game of the series Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
Williams had been pitching well out of the bullpen, with a 1.69 ERA through eight appearances, but struggled in his first start against the Orioles on Sunday. He gave up five runs on just four hits, but walked three. He lasted 4 1/3 innings.
"We, as a staff, we have to go out there and be better," Williams said of the rotation, which has an ERA of 4.74 entering Saturday's contest. "That's the key right now. We have to be better. The guys that are swinging the bats are coming around. We just have to throw up zeros."
Quintana took a no-hitter into the fifth inning of his last start, against the Royals, but ended up lasting just two batters into the sixth. He's 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA.
Angels: Hamilton hammers the Sox
• Josh Hamilton is a .330 career hitter against the White Sox, with eight homers and 23 RBIs in 29 games.
• With their win on Friday night, the Angels won consecutive road games for the first time this season.
White Sox: Here for the day, gone for the week
Chicago's upcoming seven-game series will feature trips to face the Twins and the Angels. The White Sox are 4-5 during their current stretch of playing 15 of 18 games away from home.
"That's not ideal," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said of the odd scheduling. "We do have I think four 10-day trips, which strikes me as a little more than normal. It's for the betterment of everything, they balanced out the two leagues and the competitiveness from that standpoint. So there are some growing pains with the schedule. We'll get used to it."
The White Sox will play 17 of 23 games at home from May 20-June 12. They're 7-8 at home and 7-11 on the road.
Unfortunately for the White Sox and Angels, summer weather hasn't permanently made its way to the Windy City, making for some chilly temperatures at the park this weekend. It was 40 degrees at the time of Friday's first pitch.
"I don't know what it was like when we were gone," Konerko said. "I've heard a couple of people say it was nice. Early on, in April and May, you hope for good weather, but I think you don't expect it. You know until you get to June it's probably hit or miss. This something you have to deal with and get through."
Saturday's forecast calls for morning showers, a high of 58 degrees and temperatures down into the 30s by nightfall.