Now in his 16th season with the White Sox, captain Paul Konerko has seen it all -- especially when it comes to playing the Oakland Athletics.
"Yea, I mean they've had a lot of good teams," Konerko said. "But honestly there were years where we went there and they weren't very good and we'd get swept. I mean, we lost every kind of way you could lose there. But that was a long time ago. I think recently we've been OK."
Konerko is right. O.co Coliseum was long a house of horrors for his team, which is 19-41 in Oakland since 2000, but has gone a respectable 9-12 since '08. The White Sox will look to continue the positive trend when they visit the A's for a three game set starting Monday night.
And, As Konerko pointed out, many of his young teammates will be making their first trip to Oakland with the new-look White Sox and will have "no idea, probably" of the team's recent history in the Bay Area.
"Every team's got those ballparks that even when the team changes and the roster changes, you seem to have trouble there," Konerko said. "But hopefully, we've got kind of a new thing going with the group here and it would be great if we could just go in there and have a good series, so they don't have to know the pain that most of us have had there. Let's just go there and get it going in the right direction, start a new trend."
One player making his first trip to Oakland is Cuban sensation Jose Abreu, who leads the Majors in home runs (13) and is second in RBIs (37).
We've watched some tape already and that seems to be quite a challenge, the way he's swinging the bat," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "He's dangerous to any part of the field."
The A's will look to keep their momentum at home going as they wrap up a 10-game home stand that started poorly, but has since turned around. The two-time defending AL West champs lost three of four to Seattle before sweeping a three-game series from Washington.
They'll throw righty Jesse Chavez (2-1, 2.47 ERA in seven starts) opposite left-hander John Danks (3-2, 4.93 in seven starts). Chavez has a 2.92 ERA in seven relief appearances against the White Sox -- the most recent on July 8, 2012, when he was a member of the Blue Jays -- and will make his first start against Chicago. Danks posted his fifth quality start by allowing three runs in six innings his last time out Wednesday against the Cubs.
White Sox: Eaton nearing rehab assignment
Leadoff man Adam Eaton, who is recovering from a strained left hamstring, will travel with the team to Oakland for at least the first two games of the series before meeting up with Triple-A Charlotte to start his rehab assignment.
Bench coach Mark Parent, who spoke with the media prior to Sunday's game, while Robin Ventura was en route from his daughter's college graduation, said Eaton will "probably" rejoin the White Sox next Sunday in Houston.
"Really excited to see him back," Parent said of Eaton. "He adds a lot to our lineup, defensively and offensively and running the bases. Just overall energy in the game. He's obviously had a really good year so we want to continue his progress."
Oakland: Jaso to sit out back-to-back games
John Jaso hit a walk-off double in the 10th inning of Saturday's 4-3 win over the Nationals as part of his 3-for-5, two-RBI day. But he will sit out Monday for the second straight game.
It's a simple matchup platoon strategy for Melvin, who plays the right-handed hitting Derek Norris -- who had two three-run homers on Sunday -- behind the plate against left-handed starters.
"With Coco [Crisp] out, we have two left-handers in there instead of one," Melvin said. "Believe me, if I could get another right-hander in there, I would. [Brandon] Moss doesn't normally play against left-handers."
• Chicago's three-game set in Oakland begins a three city road trip that moves to Houston (Friday-Sunday) and Kansas City (5/19-21). The White Sox have two more three-city road trips this season (6/19-29 and 9/15-24).
• The White Sox went 0-3 at O.Co Colliseum and 2-5 overall last season against the A's, with all seven games decided by three runs or less.
• In Sunday's 5-1 loss to the to the D-backs, the White Sox were held to four hits, the third time this season they've picked up four or fewer hits in a season.
• White Sox relievers own a 1.96 ERA over their last 15 games.
• Brandon Moss has 18 home runs and 61 RBIs in 71 games dating back to Aug. 19 of last year. Both figures are the most in the AL and second most in the Majors to Giancarlo Stanton (21 HR and 65 RBIs in 75 games).
• Derek Norris is batting .385, which is second in the Majors to Troy Tulowitzki's .405 average among players with 60 or more plate appearances
Joe Popely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.