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Konerko: Sox must improve vs. division in '14

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CHICAGO -- It may be just the first series of the year, but so far, so good for the White Sox against the American League Central. Though the Twins are predicted to finish near the bottom of the division and are thus an opponent the White Sox may be able to beat consistently, they won't take any wins against division rivals lightly.

Especially not after last year, when the White Sox limped to a 26-50 record against the AL Central and an 8-11 record against Minnesota. The 50 losses within the division set a club record, so you can forgive the White Sox if they're celebrating the early success against the teams they'll see most frequently throughout the season.

"There are a lot of momentum changes because you play 19 games against every team," said White Sox captain Paul Konerko. "But it doesn't hurt to try and set the tone early and get on the board, because usually you're going to win your division or be competitive in your division. Even your worst matchups in the division you should be around .500 if you want to do that."

The White Sox didn't have a winning record against any division opponent last season, performing best against Kansas City (9-10), followed by the 8-11 record against the Twins, 7-12 against the Tigers and a dismal 2-17 against Cleveland.

"We've got to improve on that," said Konerko of playing more competitively within the Central. "I mean, Cleveland last year was brutal, so we'd like to be better against our division, which overall will make us better."

Joe Popely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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