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White Sox look to ‘stay the course’ in meeting with Rangers

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White Sox look to ‘hold course’ against Rangers originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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Chicago White Sox are at a place in their schedule when they need to make a move.

There are signs that they are going to take advantage of this.

However, there is still a lot of work to be done as a four-game streak against the Texas Rangers kicks off Thursday night in Arlington, Texas.

“We have to prove it from here to the end,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said.

For the White Sox, this is the start of a two-city, eight-game journey. They won their last two games before beating the visiting Kansas City Royals 4-1 on Wednesday with a rain delay.

The White Sox have also won four of their last five games. They captured five of the first eight games during a schedule break in which they play 19 straight games against teams with a losing record.

Given some success, the White Sox should be getting some confidence, especially Jose Abreu, who has scored in each of the last two games.

“It just looks like we’re benefiting from staying the course and making sure we’re good enough,” La Russa said.

With a record of 53-51, Chicago is two games over .500 for the first time since April 20.

“You just have to go 1-0 every day,” said White Sox baseman Andrew Vaughn.

The Rangers are going through three losing games after being beaten by the Baltimore Orioles in their first home games since the All-Star break. It was the fourth time this season that Texas has been hit in a series of three or more games.

“We have to bring it. We have to come back and bring it against the White Sox (Thursday),” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “We can’t give up right now and we have to go into battle.”

Woodward said he knows these are tough times during the season and he tried to give some players a break during the last series hoping they would be fresh. But due to the fact that the attack is constantly skidding, it is difficult to find a lot of cheekiness.

“In the beginning, we didn’t do much,” Woodward said. “Just a couple of mistakes here and there… These little things obviously led to the fact that we lost.”

The Rangers have amassed a total of seven points in the Baltimore Series, and it doesn’t seem to get any easier with the arrival of the White Sox.

Right-hander Johnny Cueto (4-4, 2.86 ERA) goes on the mound for the White Sox, hoping to build a solid July where he won both decisions and had five solid outs.

He lost in his only previous decision against Texas, although it was a start for the Cincinnati Reds, who lasted just one batter in the second inning with a strained lat in 2013.

The Rangers selected left-hander Cole Ragans (0-0, 0.00) in the starting lineup.

Ragans, 24, will make his major league debut after splitting the season at Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Frisco.

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