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updated: 6/1/2011 7:22 PM

Why White Sox can feel good about themselves

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  • Adam Dunn, left, welcomes Paul Konerko at home plate after Konerko hit a 2-run home run off Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning Wednesday at Fenway Park.

      Adam Dunn, left, welcomes Paul Konerko at home plate after Konerko hit a 2-run home run off Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning Wednesday at Fenway Park.
    Associated Press

  • Paul Konerko hits an RBI single off a pitch by Boston Red Sox reliever Matt Albers in the seventh inning at Fenway Park Wednesday.

      Paul Konerko hits an RBI single off a pitch by Boston Red Sox reliever Matt Albers in the seventh inning at Fenway Park Wednesday.
    Associated Press

 
 

The White Sox have earned the right, finally, to feel pretty good about themselves.

And no, having six upcoming games against the Cubs is not the reason.

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Rather, it was the three games the White Sox played against the Red Sox this week.

Heading into Fenway Park Monday to face one of the best teams in baseball was daunting enough.

And having lost two of three at Texas and three of four at Toronto to start the 10-game road trip, let's just say the season was quickly slipping away.

Some how, some way, the White Sox got a grip.

Behind a rare blend of strong pitching and offense to match, the White Sox took the first two from Boston and completed the three-game sweep Wednesday afternoon with a 7-4 win.

Are the White Sox (27-31) finally ready to go on an extended run -- especially since they play 23 of their next 35 at home heading into the all-star break?

"I wish I could say, 'Wow, we are ready to go,'" manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters after Wednesday's win. "That happened to us before. We were ready to say 'Wow, that's the team we were looking for, and the team we know we have.'

"All of a sudden, a couple of days later, we go backwards. I hope this is the beginning of the good start. I hope this gets us to where we want to get."

The first place the White Sox need to get is the .500 mark. They were last at the break-even point on April 16 at 7-7, so now would be a pretty good time to start making a push.

Sweeping a quality opponent like the Red Sox on their home turf bodes well for the rest of the season.

After leading the White Sox to Wednesday's victory with 3 hits in 4 at-bats, including a big 2-run homer off Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning, captain Paul Konerko addressed the bigger picture.

"We needed some wins; we've been scuffling," Konerko told reporters. "It's nice to get three wins before the off day. We're still behind the 8-ball. We still have a lot of (ground) to make up. But it's a good start and we've got to make sure we don't lose this momentum on the off day.

"We've got to come back against a division team (Detroit) on Friday and we don't have any more room for lapses. We've got to keep moving."

The starting pitching has been solid all season, even with a six-man rotation. And the bullpen has been much better since Sergio Santos started closing games in late April.

The White Sox' offense came to life at Boston, outscoring the Red Sox 24-14 in the series while batting .342.

If they keep hitting at home, the White Sox are going to move onward and upward.

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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