White Sox have chance to address Central weakness

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The White Sox’ Melky Cabrera catches his breath after sliding into third base with an RBI triple in the eighth inning Sunday against the Mariners. | David Banks/Getty Images

The White Sox have a losing record against the rest of the American League Central, but they will have a chance to change that in the final five weeks of the regular season.

The Sox are 20-29 against their division rivals, but they will play those teams almost exclusively the rest of the way, starting with a road trip this week to Detroit and Minnesota.

The Sox have only six games left against non-AL Central teams, with two against the Phillies on Sept. 20-21 in Philadelphia and four against the Rays on

Sept. 26-29 at home.

Getting to .500 remains the Sox’ first goal, but turning around their losing history against the rest of the division is the greater challenge.

‘‘You’ve got to win those games,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘When you start looking within your division, we haven’t played that well. You have to be able to reverse that, find a way to be able to win those games.

‘‘We have some tough teams within the division, as well — teams that can pitch. And Detroit, that’s a tough team offensively. You have to be able to stop them, and you have to be able to score.’’

Each of the teams ahead of the Sox in the division — the Indians, Tigers and Royals — has a winning record against them.

Ventura: Keep Sale, Quintana

Sox left-handers Chris Sale and Jose Quintana will get consideration for the AL Cy Young Award, and that’s one reason Ventura would favor keeping them rather than trading them for prospects in a rebuilding move.

‘‘I don’t think you like the look of not having those guys,’’ said Ventura, whose own future is in question after the season. ‘‘You know how important starting pitching is. Everybody’s looking for starting pitching, and those are two of the best guys you could have.

‘‘Whether [those in the Sox’ front office] decide that’s the route they’re going to go, that’s up to them. I know we feel better when they go out there.’’

Roster moves

The Sox will add several players when rosters are allowed to expand Thursday, with another catcher, bullpen help and bench reinforcements coming.

‘‘We have to have another catcher,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘And we’ve been running on a three-man bench for a little while, so we’ll want maybe another infielder and maybe another outfielder and some arms in the bullpen.’’

The Sox also expect right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (strained right groin), who will begin a rehab assignment soon, to return. But second baseman Brett Lawrie’s status is unclear. He has been out since July 27 with a strained left hamstring.

‘‘As far as medical pictures, they don’t really have an answer for it,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘He still feels like there’s something in there.’’

Follow me on Twitter @toniginnetti.

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