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White Sox back in first place despite June swoon

Eduardo Escobar (holding helmet) Alejandro De Az(wearing helmet) are congratulated after combining for winning run Sunday. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

Eduardo Escobar (holding helmet) and Alejandro De Aza (wearing helmet) are congratulated after combining for the winning run Sunday. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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TONIGHT

Sox at Twins

The facts: 7:05, CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.

The starters: Jake Peavy (6-3, 2.74 ERA) vs. Francisco Liriano (1-7, 5.74).

The rest of the series

Tuesday: 7:05 p.m., CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM. Gavin Floyd (5-7, 5.20) vs. Liam Hendriks (0-4, 7.39).

Wednesday: 1:10 p.m., Ch. 9, 670-AM, 97.5-FM. Chris Sale (8-2, 2.24) vs. Nick Blackburn (4-4, 7.45).

Updated: July 26, 2012 6:22AM



The White Sox completed a 3-3 homestand Sunday, but their 9-12 record for June is only one victory better than that of the Seattle Mariners, who have the lowest winning percentage in the American League for the month (.381).

The Sox went 18-11 in May, tying the Los Angeles Angels for the best record in the league.

‘‘We haven’t played our best baseball lately, but we haven’t played that badly, either,’’ pitcher Jake Peavy said Sunday. ‘‘We’ve been in a lot of games that just haven’t swung our way. We’ve been streaky, streakier than we probably want to be.’’

Nevertheless, the Sox reclaimed first place in the Central on Sunday with their victory and the Cleveland Indians’ loss to the Houston Astros.

‘‘Interleague play has always gone well for us, and we’re not doing so well now [finishing 9-9]. We know we have a tough road trip coming up. I think a lot of us are trying to grind this out to the All-Star break.

Peavy will start tonight in the first of a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins. The Sox then travel to New York for a four-game series starting Thursday.

‘‘We’re in a great position now that a lot of people didn’t expect of us,’’ Peavy said.

Close encounters

The Sox’ 1-0 victory in 10 innings Sunday gave them their first series win in the last six. They hadn’t won a series since June 1-3 against the Mariners. They also improved to 8-11 in one-run games.

‘‘[Losing one-run games is] worse than the ones where you get drubbed by seven or eight,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘Pitchers don’t like it, but I think there are days when you just lose and there are days when you see a lot of situations that could happen.

The Sox are 5-9 in games decided by two runs.

Non-error

A scoring change Sunday took away the error charged Saturday to left fielder Dayan Viciedo in the second inning as he fielded George Kottaras’ double. The ruling reinstated Viciedo’s streak of errorless games to 86, the longest active streak on the team.

The change also meant that pitcher Dylan Axelrod was charged with five earned runs instead of four.

Hot hitters

Gordon Beckham went 2-for-5 on Sunday and is hitting .317 in his last 25 games. Alexei Ramirez went 1-for-3 with a walk and is hitting .347 in his last 14 games.



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