CHICAGO -- With a record at .500 and losers of four straight, the White Sox don't statistically look like a first-place team.
But that's what they were entering Friday's game against against the Red Sox, tied atop the American League Central with the Tigers and Indians.
First baseman Paul Konerko said now that things aren't going well, the team has continued to do a good job of staying focused and coming to the field every day to work.
"Guys are buying into that and really taking it to heart," Konerko said before Friday's 10-3 loss. "That doesn't mean you have nights like last night [another 10-3 loss], where we got blown out. It wasn't a good night, but everybody leaves knowing they put in an honest day's work and you feel good about that and come back today ready to fight again."
Although, along with Konerko, the White Sox have everyday veterans like A.J. Pierzynski, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios, there also are youngsters like infielders Gordon Beckham and Brent Morel and 23-year-old left fielder Dayan Viciedo. Center fielder Alejandro De Aza, though 28, also entered this season having played no more than 54 games in any previous season.
Konerko said it's important for younger players to realize that how they prepare for the games on a daily basis -- win or lose -- is almost as important as the games themselves.
"You have good games and bad games and there's so much going on out there that you feel like you're kind of at the mercy of it," Konerko said. "Having that foundation of getting ready to play -- if you do that and you have talent, which guys do, the numbers will bear out the results and the stuff you want will be there in the end."
Losses by both the White Sox and Tigers (10-10) on Friday left the Indians in sole possession of first place with a 10-8 mark.