CHICAGO -- Ask the White Sox to analyze the American League standings as May came to a close via a 6-1 victory over the Indians on Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field, and the response seems to be pretty universal.
"We're taking it day by day, no question about that, but understanding that every day we have a chance to win," said Yonder Alonso, who had two hits Friday. "And that's special."
If the White Sox won't take a peek at what's going on, let's take a look for them.
Friday's victory pulled the White Sox into a second-place tie with the Indians in the AL Central, with both teams sitting at 28-29. Chicago's fifth straight win on this seven-game homestand marks the club's longest winning streak since taking six straight from April 23-29, 2017.
The White Sox also are within one game of the second Wild Card in an AL filled with a great deal of parity. But checking the Wild Card standings going into June seems to be about 14 weeks too early.
Beating Trevor Bauer and the abysmal Cleveland defense closed out May at 16-15 for the South Siders, marking their first winning month since the team finished 17-12 last August. And this five-game run began after Minnesota took them apart in a three-game weekend sweep at Target Field, dropping the White Sox to a 2019 low mark of six games under .500.
Lessons clearly were learned during that rough performance.
"Too many things, man. For us, it stays in this clubhouse," Alonso said of the lessons learned. "We learned a lot from that series, but we've got to win. We've got to win every game."
"Maybe they are just taking it upon themselves to step it up a little bit," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "They get a greater understanding of what's needed in order for them to be able to compete against clubs like [Minnesota]."
Dylan Covey earned the victory, allowing a home run to Francisco Lindor to start the game and nothing else over six innings of eight-hit ball, striking out five and walking one. Covey was 0-10 with a 5.96 ERA in his last 14 starts dating back into 2018, with that last victory as a starter coming on July 21, 2018, at Seattle.
Charlie Tilson doubled home two runs off Bauer with two outs in the third to give the White Sox a lead they would not relinquish, and four starters had two hits.
Yolmer Sanchez was one of those four, after getting hit by a pitch by Bauer in the back with one out in the second. Covey threw behind Roberto Perez's lower leg area with two outs in the fourth, earning warnings for both benches.
Nothing much was made postgame of the hit-by-pitch by Renteria or Sanchez, who swiped third in the eighth inning of Thursday's win with the White Sox leading, 8-3, and two out. Perez wasn't sure if the White Sox were trying to hit him, but "it seemed like it."
"We hit Sanchez in the [second]. We were trying to go in and we hit him," Perez said. "But those things happen in the game and he missed. Let's worry about tomorrow now."
"You see it," Sanchez said. "I got hit by a pitch my first at-bat. And then I got an RBI."
Seby Zavala picked up his first career hit with a bloop single to right in the fourth. The rookie catcher, who was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte after the victory, also scored his first run.
Playing winning baseball has become contagious for the White Sox across their entire roster.
"They are going with the moment," Renteria said. "Hopefully this will be a moment that lasts a long time."