Traditionally, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July have been convenient dates to access the progress of ballclubs.

The White Sox appear headed in the right direction as they prepare to host the Cubs on Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

"I don't think we started off that great, but in the last couple of weeks you kind of gain some footing," Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Just the feeling you're going to go out and win games. It doesn't matter who you're playing or who's throwing or anything like that. You feel better for your team as far as the way it's playing.

"We take aim at whoever we're playing that night. You can't start looking at standings. We know kind of where we're at, but again you can't play your game while you're looking at the scoreboard. We just need to take care of ourselves, play our game and go from there."

Close encounters: Thirty-nine of the Sox's 48 games have been decided by three runs or fewer. The Sox have been involved in 20 one-run games.

"You lose a lot of one-run games too," Ventura said. "For us, close games, that's just the way we play. We're confident in any situation. For one, we've got a good bullpen, so we can hold (the opposition) and give yourself a chance to score some runs. The playing of tight games is just natural in this league ... and we are fine playing that way."

Minor move: The Sox traded Triple-A Charlotte infielder Drew Garcia to the Rockies for a player to be named, while left-hander Charlie Leesman was activated off the Knights' disabled list.

No A.J. effect: Marlins outfielder Juan Pierre, who played for both the Cubs and White Sox, has great memories of Chicago's City Series.