CHICAGO -- The White Sox might have fallen out of first place in the American League Central over the weekend, but general manager Ken Williams said winning the division remains the team's priority.
Williams made that clear Monday when asked how the additional Wild Card is impacting action in the days leading to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"I'm not thinking about the Wild Card," Williams said. "We're thinking about trying to win the American League Central Division."
The White Sox returned home Monday in the midst of a five-game losing streak, including a weekend sweep in Detroit, that put South Siders 1 1/2 games behind the Tigers. Despite their recent skid -- broken up by Monday's 7-4 win against the Twins -- Williams adamantly said the White Sox wouldn't change course heading into the Deadline.
"Oh [heck] no," Williams responded when asked if Chicago could turn into a seller.
Williams said he and manager Robin Ventura spoke earlier Wednesday about the club's attitude during its recent drought, and both are confident the White Sox will turn it around. They're also looking forward to the challenge.
"Is it nice to be in first place and chased? Absolutely," Williams said. "But it's our time to do a little chasing right now."
Williams again mentioned the possibility of getting left-hander John Danks (left shoulder strain) back to full strength by the end of August. That would make Danks, who is expected to throw a side session on Tuesday, an impact-type addition for the White Sox. That, Williams said, "can be the best thing that can happen for us."
But he'll also continue to look for alternatives.
"If we are in it at that point, and we definitely expect to be, then we've got a guy here that will be fresh and impactful in his own right," Williams said. "Doing something that is going to take away from this club to accomplish that impactful move is not going to happen. If [another team is] talking about a prospect-type deal, then we'll talk about it. Or a deal that makes us exponentially better in the short term and the long term."
Ventura, vets remaining calm during downturn
CHICAGO -- Robin Ventura said he doesn't have any magic dust when it comes to solving his team's recent struggles.
Even if he did, the White Sox manager would likely save it for another time. Because, despite entering Monday's series opener against the Twins on a five-game skid -- including a three-game sweep at the hands of Detroit -- the White Sox aren't worried.
"For me, it's the guys that stay consistent and keep to the fundamentals of what they believe in," Ventura said of getting things turned around. "It'll turn, you just have to stay focused on the right stuff."
The White Sox hit only .228 with nine home runs in the first 10 games since the All-Star break, only scoring about three runs per game. Adam Dunn, who hit three of those homers but batted only .167 on the 3-7 road trip, echoed his manager's thoughts.
"If you find me a team that goes 162 games without running through some sort of offensive struggle, I don't think that team's been built yet," Dunn said. "You guys have seen us when we're swinging the bats well and seen us when we haven't. It's just kind of one of those things where hitting goes in cycles for everyone and right now we're not on a very good one."
Going through a losing streak is nothing new for Dunn, a 12-year veteran. Ventura said the calming presence of veterans like Dunn and Paul Konerko can help younger players relax during a stretch that has seen the club fall out of first place.
That's exactly what the two, and others, seem to be doing.
"The weekend didn't go the way we wanted it to go, but I think you have to look at if from the standpoint that it's a long season and if we would have found ourselves where we're at right now, the position we're in, that's a pretty good position," Konerko said. "We have a pretty good opportunity to do something and that's all you look for. I think there are a lot of good signs there, a lot of good positives."Konerko and Dunn, along with Alex Rios, homered during a 7-4 victory Monday night against the Twins.
Third to first
A baseball source indicated the White Sox were interested in outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who on Monday was traded from Seattle to the New York Yankees -- and the club was unhappy it didn't receive a call prior to the trade.
The White Sox have won nine of their last 11 home games.
Left-handed reliever Matt Thornton's tossed a scoreless inning on Monday to push his career innings total to 500 2/3.