AL Central rivals open White Sox year

AL Central rivals open White Sox year

SEATTLE -- The White Sox start the 2010 campaign with six contests against American League Central rivals at U.S. Cellular Field, according to a schedule released by Major League Baseball on Tuesday. Opening Day comes the afternoon of April 5 against the Indians.

They finish the 2010 season with a seven-game homestand against Boston and Cleveland, marking the Red Sox's lone visit to Chicago. But in order to push for another division title, manager Ozzie Guillen's charges once again will have to endure a tough road run in late August and early September.

In 2009, the White Sox treacherous road trip featured four in Boston, which began on Aug. 24, followed by three at Yankee Stadium, their final three games at the Metrodome and a makeup game at Wrigley Field. That 11-game excursion ended with a 3-8 record, putting a serious dent in the White Sox present division title hopes.

For 2010, a three-game series at Progressive Field in Cleveland starts the fun on Aug. 30. After an off-day, the White Sox make their only appearance at Fenway Park from Sept. 3-5 and then finish with four games against Detroit at Comerica Park from Sept. 6-9. That's 10 games in 11 days.

Minnesota comes to Chicago from April 9-11, following Cleveland as the home-opening opponent. The White Sox longest homestands come from June 1-10 (three apiece against Texas, Cleveland and Detroit) and from Sept. 10-19 (three apiece against the Royals, Twins and Tigers). The White Sox actually have 16 contests at U.S. Cellular over the season's final month.

Interleague Play once again features six games with the Cubs, only both series return to weekends in 2010: June 11-13 on the North Side and June 25-27 on the South Side. Florida (May 21-23) and Atlanta (June 22-24) also visit the White Sox as part of the Interleague action, while they travel to Washington (June 18-20) and Pittsburgh (June 15-17), going against the Pirates for the fifth straight season.

Action away from Chicago starts up in 2010 on April 12-15, with four games at Rogers Centre in Toronto, where the White Sox have a dismal 1-11 record over their last 12 games. That road trip concludes with three in Cleveland from April 16-18.

An early visit to Yankee Stadium comes from April 30 to May 2, following three games in Texas. The White Sox will spend the Fourth of July holiday in Arlington, while the Yankees don't have a return trip to U.S. Cellular until Aug. 27-29.

As for what probably stands as the White Sox most anticipated road series, the South Siders play their first games at the Twins' Target Field from May 11-12. Outside baseball in Minneapolis, an eagerly awaited alternative to their past personal house of horrors known as the Metrodome, also takes place for the White Sox from July 15-18 and Aug. 17-19.

Two West Coast road trips are on the agenda. From July 19-25, the White Sox visit Seattle (July 19-21) and Oakland (July 23-25), concluding a 10-game, post-All-Star break road trip that begins in Minnesota. From Sept. 20-26, the White Sox play in Oakland (Sept. 20-22) and Anaheim (Sept. 24-26).

Those six games contribute to an apparently tough season's end, taking shape during the final days of August and concluding at home against the Indians from Oct. 1-3.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.