Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
As forgettable as April was for the White Sox with a franchise-worst 18 losses, it was a memorable month for the Cleveland Indians, who continue to lead the American League Central.
That fact is as much a danger to the Sox as their own slump.
The Indians finished April with a five-game win streak and an 18-8 record (.692) that was the best in the American League and the best April in franchise history.
In winning again Sunday against the Detroit Tigers, the Indians extended their streak to six and maintained their 41/2-game lead over second-place Kansas City.
But the Indians are 10 games ahead of the Sox.
‘‘I haven’t paid attention to the standings too much because I’m more worried about what’s going on with us,’’ catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. ‘‘But they’ve been good. It’s good for baseball and good for Cleveland. I wish it was us.’’
While the Sox need to start winning, they also need to be concerned about a hot-starting rival.
‘‘Especially when it’s a young team, it gives them a sense of confidence,’’ Pierzynski said.
The Sox had that kind of hot start in Pierzynski’s first year with the team in 2005.
A 17-7 April was followed by an 18-10 May, an 18-7 June and a 15-11 July. The only bump in the championship road came in August, but the Sox were still 12-16 for the month before finishing with a
Last season also started poorly for the Sox, but a 25-5 stretch at midseason made up lost ground. It wasn’t enough to overtake the Minnesota Twins, whose only slow patch came in June (13-15) after a 15-8 April and 15-12 May.
The Indians gave the Sox a taste of their potential in the first game of the season, coming back from a double-digit deficit before falling 15-10. The Sox won two games of that three-game series. But since dropping the first two games of the season, the Indians have won 13 straight at home and are 9-4 against Central rivals (9-6 overall).
Their home streak included a three-game sweep of the Orioles, who will try to complete a four-game sweep of the Sox today.
‘‘We always knew it wouldn’t be easy,’’ Pierzynski said. ‘‘Right now, we have to find a way to right our ship.’’