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CHICAGO – It can only be said so many times that the White Sox are not where so many of them expected them to be at the start of the 2022 season.

The phrase was used often for the club as their early sluggishness and continued bad injury luck saw them trail in the American League Central division for most of the first half of the season.

Yet it should be emphasized that it’s not all “Doom-and-Gloom” for the club as they start the second half of their season with a four-game series with the Guardians on Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.

With 70 games remaining, the White Sox trail the Twins by three games in the AL Central and remain 3 1/2 games out of the last Wild Card spot in the league. Considering what had transpired in the first half, the White Sox could be in a much worse position, and perhaps their recent play signals a turnaround.

In an eight-game stretch against the Guardians and the Twins on the road to end the first half, the White Sox went 5-3 and won five of their last six games to get back to .500 before the All-Star Break.

For Tony La Russa, the team has to keep up that pace, because he has a number in his head as to where the club needs to be in order to get closer to a third-straight playoff berth.

“We want to get to September and have a shot at 90 if you think you’re in contention,” said the manager before Friday’s game. “We’ve got to win a bunch of games, so does Minnesota and Cleveland.”

The team will get catcher Yasmani Grandal back on Friday as returns to the lineup for the first time since early June when he went on the injured list with back spasms. Unfortunately, Luis Robert’s blurred vision that kept him out of the lineup late in the Twins series has put him on the IL retroactive to July 19th.