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  • The rejuvenated Alex Rios.

Manager Robin Ventura has the White Sox atop the American League Central Division in part because he emphasizes playing each game on each day: don’t look ahead to tomorrow or the day after that, don’t watch the scoreboard, just concentrate on the task at hand.

Yet to appreciate where the Sox are, we who aren’t on the field of play should perhaps step back and examine where they’ve been. The Sox just endured by far their most difficult stretch of the season. They came out of the All-Star break leading the division, but facing a three-week stretch of 19 games, 16 of them on the road, and in difficult locations as well, such as Boston, Detroit, Texas, and the always-demanding Minneapolis.

The Sox won a respectable seven of the 16 road games, so combined with the three home games they swept from the Twins they were 10-9 over that demanding stretch. They left after the All-Star break three games up, and returned home Friday still two and a half games in front of the Tigers.

That’s weathering the storm.