Staying hot at home remains key for White Sox

Staying hot at home remains key for White Sox

CHICAGO -- Thursday's 2-1 victory over the Rangers pushed the White Sox over the .500 mark at U.S. Cellular Field this season.

The three-game sweep of the Rangers, coupled with back-to-back wins over the Brewers before the White Sox embarked on a seven-game road trip to Minneapolis and New York, extended their home winning streak to five games and sent them over .500 at U.S. Cellular Field for the first time since they were 2-1 on April 15. Sitting at 22-21 doesn't seem overwhelming for a team that's also atop the American League Central.

But being one game over represents a great improvement for manager Robin Ventura's crew over the past 23 games, when it has posted a 15-8 home record. Success in Chicago is what the White Sox figure to need during a tough second-half run to hang on to the division lead.

"We have to play better at home to win the division," White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy said. "We know that, and we expect to do that."

In their past 23 games at U.S. Cellular, the White Sox have a .286 average as a team with 148 runs scored, 36 homers and a 4.14 ERA. In the previous 20 home games, during which they played to a dismal 7-13 record, the Sox hit .238 as a team with 77 runs scored, 20 homers and a 4.77 ERA.