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updated: 4/14/2012 9:13 PM

Sox now in first place

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  • Chicago White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers, right, smiles as he talks to Paul Konerko after the White Sox defeated the Detroit Tigers 5-1 in a baseball game in Chicago, Saturday, April 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

      Chicago White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers, right, smiles as he talks to Paul Konerko after the White Sox defeated the Detroit Tigers 5-1 in a baseball game in Chicago, Saturday, April 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Chicago White Sox's Paul Konerko, right, celebrates with third base coach Joe McEwing after hitting a solo home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Chicago, Saturday, April 14, 2012. The White Sox won 5-1. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

      Chicago White Sox's Paul Konerko, right, celebrates with third base coach Joe McEwing after hitting a solo home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Chicago, Saturday, April 14, 2012. The White Sox won 5-1. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Chicago White Sox's Paul Konerko watches his solo home run against the Detroit Tigers during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Saturday, April 14, 2012. The White Sox won 5-1. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

      Chicago White Sox's Paul Konerko watches his solo home run against the Detroit Tigers during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Saturday, April 14, 2012. The White Sox won 5-1. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Chicago White Sox's Adam Dunn hits a one-run double against the Detroit Tigers during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Saturday, April 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

      Chicago White Sox's Adam Dunn hits a one-run double against the Detroit Tigers during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Saturday, April 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

 

The White Sox won their fourth straight game Saturday, and they are officially in first place in the AL Central with a 5-2 record.

If you are looking for any sign of excitement coming from the Sox' clubhouse, check back in July or so and prepare to be disappointed.

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While it is still very early in the season -- and very early in Robin Ventura's reign as manager -- the tone has already been set.

It's going to be all business, all the time for these White Sox.

They go out for batting practice earlier and stay on the field longer.

There is still some goofing around in the clubhouse, but the fun and games of the past have been replaced by work and then some more work.

"I like the feel of the team and the way they come every day prepared to play," Ventura said after Saturday's 5-1 win over the Tigers. "That's the most important thing for me."

For the most part, the Sox have been prepared to compete in all aspects of the game this season, and it's already paying off.

You can give credit for Ventura and his coaching staff for installing a positive change. You can also blame former manage Ozzie Guillen and his staff for not fixing some obvious flaws.

"This team feels so new and nothing from this year feels a part of last year," captain Paul Konerko said. "So that's a good thing. I think we're doing it right, we're going about it right. But as we get into the season here, it starts to get into that grind, that starts to be the test, and we've got to make sure we're up for that."

How they hold up over the long haul remains to be seen, but you can say this -- the White Sox are going to stick around if they continue to get strong pitching.

On Saturday, starter Gavin Floyd was effectively wild against one of the best offensive teams in baseball.

Floyd threw 6 shutout innings while allowing 3 hits, walking three and hitting three. The right-hander had to leave early when his pitch count reached 98.

"In certain situations where I got a couple of runners on or they loaded the bases, I acted like it was a situation where I needed to make good, quality pitches to get them out," Floyd said.

Floyd succeeded, and his wildness seemed to bother the Tigers.

"The pitches he missed, he missed in good spots in that they were effective as far as setting up the next pitch," catcher Tyler Flowers said. "Against a lineup like that, you can't make mistakes over the heart of the plate and he did that very few times."

The White Sox turned 3 double plays to help Floyd hold Detroit down, and they got solo home runs from Alexei Ramirez, Tyler Flowers and Konerko.

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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