At game time Monday, the White Sox already knew they would still be in first place because of Detroit’s afternoon loss to the Cleveland Indians.
The last outs of that Tigers-Indians game showing on the clubhouse televisions had players straggling out to batting practice as they tried to catch the final out.
But the players insist it is still more important to focus on themselves as they put the three-game sweep by the Tigers behind them.
“Two months ago we were talking about the same thing and things turned around for us,” said Adam Dunn, who returned to the lineup after missing two games with a right oblique strain. “They can turn around again. We still have a month to go.
“We came out of [Detroit] in first place and that’s the best place you can be. It’s not time to panic. We played as worse as we could and we’re still in first place.
“If we take care of us, we’ll be where we want to be. We won’t have to rely on other teams.”
Sidelined Gavin Floyd threw a bullpen session Monday, saying he felt “about 65 percent” after throwing some 20 pitches from a mound.
“It was a little achy in between pitches but it felt pretty good. It wasn’t `ouch.’ It was a step in the right direction.”
Floyd will throw another session on Thursday. “I guess would be a little longer, throwing breaking balls, so that will be kind of the true test to see what happens.
“I hope it’s just 15 days and I get back out there.”
Floyd has been on the disabled list since Aug. 27, but it’s not known yet if he will be able to resume pitching when he is eligible to return in another week.
Manager Robin Ventura said Dylan Axelrod will be recalled and could start Sunday against Kansas City.
A pregame tribute was held for former Sox pitcher Kevin Hickey, 56, the team’s longtime assistant coach who died in May after lapsing into a coma during the team’s season-opening trip to Texas a month earlier.
The Sox have displayed Hickey’s jersey in the dugout all season and worn arm patches in remembrance.
“The jersey is here but you walk by and see his locker, you’re used to hearing him,” Ventura said. “That’s the one thing even now, it’s been most of the season and there are still [things] you miss. You are used to hearing and seeing him around and seeing him during batting practice. That’s when you really would see him. It was just his energy and kind of his zest for life.”
Meanwhile, there was good news surrounding coaching assistant Mike Gellinger, who had been hospitalized in Baltimore last week during the road trip after blacking out in his hotel and injuring a neck vertebrae. Gellinger is home but still undergoing tests to determine what caused his incident.