"Looking back right now, it kind of kicked us into gear a little bit," White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said. "We were able to keep the intensity going into Pittsburgh after that series.
"Sometimes there is a letdown after the series. That was probably the thing, when we showed up Tuesday night in Pittsburgh and had a good game there and won. It was nice because that letdown didn't happen. We've been rolling since then."
The White Sox swept three games in Pittsburgh and three more in Washington, D.C., completing an 8-1 road trip including the stop at Wrigley. That run continued with a three-game home sweep over the Braves, who entered as the NL's best team by record, pushing the White Sox three games over .500 and just 2 1/2 games behind first-place Minnesota.
Prior to the sold-out Cubs series, the White Sox had taken two of three from Detroit -- one of the teams they are chasing within the division. But it just might have been a victory over Cleveland that previous Sunday, on June 6, serving as a harbinger of great things to come.
In that contest, the White Sox fell behind by a 6-2 margin after three innings and appeared in danger of getting swept at home by one of the worst teams in the American League. They put together a rally against Jake Westbrook, one of Cleveland's top starters, and haven't looked back in this 13-2 stretch.
"At the time, I remember thinking that game might change our season right there," said White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham of the Cleveland comeback. "I remember feeling that day how we were going to come back and win that game. That was a good start for all of this."
This weekend's pitching matchups feature Carlos Zambrano vs. Jake Peavy on Friday, Carlos Silva and Freddy Garcia on Saturday and Ryan Dempster opposite John Danks on Sunday afternoon to close out Interleague action. When that final pitch is thrown on Sunday, the White Sox hope to be riding that same crest of momentum they built up over the past few weeks.
To a player, though, the White Sox know more work still needs to be done. After all, the White Sox will be in third place at the start of the Cubs series. They don't want this interaction with the North Siders to work in reverse from the memorable first meeting.
"Maybe it took our mind off of our struggles," Beckham said. "Playing the Cubs with something else on the line, we didn't worry about our record coming in or have lingering effects of how we had been playing over the last two months. It's a possibility."
"It's something great for the city," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "[The fans] showed two weeks ago how important the series is. We had the NHL champs in town, everything was talking about the Blackhawks, everything was very nice, and we still packed it in. That means the fans in Chicago show how much they support baseball, how much they support both clubs, and how fun those games are."