Central time: White Sox facing critical 9-game road trip

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Chicago White Sox players and family members pose with the Stanley Cup on its visit to U.S. Cellular Field before the start of a baseball game between the Texas Rangers and the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, June 21, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

BY TONI GINNETTI

For the Sun-Times

The White Sox didn’t win a game on their last road trip, going 0-5 against the Tampa Bay Rays and Pittsburgh Pirates. They need to reverse their fortunes as they begin a nine-game trip Monday that includes seven games against American League Central foes. The last-place Sox (30-38) visit the Minnesota Twins for three games and the Detroit Tigers for four.

‘‘We didn’t play well last time in Minnesota, and we need to change that,’’ said manager Robin Ventura, whose team was swept in a four-game series to start May. ‘‘We know going through this, you’re going to have to get back through Minnesota, get back through Detroit and be able to play well. For us, none of these teams are easy. Where we’re at, none of these teams are easy. You have to play well.’’

The Sox are 3-7 against the Twins. In the four-game sweep, the Sox were outscored 31-8. The Tigers lead the season series 5-4.

The trip concludes with two games against the St. Louis Cardinals, who have the best record in the majors (45-24) and the best home record (26-7).

Q factor

Starter Jose Quintana settled for a no-decision, but he knows the 3-2, 11-inning victory against the Texas Rangers on Sunday was a big one.

‘‘It’s really good because it means we took the series, and that’s important to us,’’ he said.

Quintana worked seven innings, giving up two solo home runs and lowering his ERA to 3.92.

‘‘It’s important to go as long as you can,’’ he said. ‘‘The bullpen did a great job [with four scoreless innings]. That’s the reason we won this series.’’

Hold ’em

Reliever Zach Putnam, who pitched a scoreless 10th in his 25th appearance, has been one of the steadier players, allowing only two earned runs in his last 15 outings and owning a 2.03 ERA in his last 23. The late-inning right-hander credits catchers Geovany Soto and Tyler Flowers.

‘‘I trust those guys to put down the right fingers and call the right pitch in the right spot,’’ he said. ‘‘[Pitching coach Don Cooper] and I got together in April and made some mechanical tweaks, but other than that, it’s just having faith in yourself. It is absolutely tough to be confident when you’re struggling, but you watch a little film, make a few adjustments and trust yourself.’’

Ventura also trusts him more.

‘‘He’s worked his way into getting into the tougher innings when there really isn’t room for error,’’ he said. ‘‘He helps bridge that gap to where we can get to Zach Duke or [closer David] Robertson. He uses his off-speed stuff very well.’’

Notes

Melky Cabrera’s five hits were the most by a Sox player since Alex Rios had six July 9, 2013, at Detroit.

υ The Father’s Day crowd of 33,668 was the third-largest of the season. The Stanley Cup was on hand, along with Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, assistant coach Kevin Dineen and players Michal Rozsival and Andrew Shaw.

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