One of the more interesting statistics through the first five months of the season is Alexei Ramirez's 62 RBI, the same total as cleanup hitter Paul Konerko.

Ramirez has been steady with 77, 68, 70 and 70 RBI in his four seasons with the Sox, and he's on pace to finish around there again. But hitting coach Jeff Manto said Ramirez is making strides toward becoming a better hitter.

"Lately he doesn't give bats away,'' Manto said. "He'll take a swing that's out of sorts and next time he has a double. He's shrunk down his swing a whole bunch. He's not swinging for a home run. He's accepting the single.''

After hitting 21, 15, 18 and 15 homers, Ramirez has eight with a month left.

"That's OK,'' Manto said. "His home runs are down, his RBIs are up. He's learning how to hit without the power, which is good. Now that he's shut his swing down and is moving the ball over the field, he knows he doesn't have to drive the ball. We have guys that do that.''