Dayan Viciedo's homer Sunday capped a 4-2 home stand for the White Sox. AP PHOTO
It didn't take long for the White Sox schedule to take a sharp turn. They open a 10-game road trip in Washington against the Nationals, a fashionable pick by many to win the World Series in October. The improved Indians from the American League Central are next, followed by four games against the beefed-up Toronto Blue Jays.
The road trip starts a stretch of 20 straight games without a break. Right-hander Jake Peavy, who will start against Washington's Gio Gonzalez in the series opener Tuesday, knows the Sox face one of the more testy stretches of the season here in April.
"Getting on the road is always fun,'' Peavy said. "At the same time we're going to face some pretty good baseball teams. Going to Washington, facing the pitching we're going to face, and then ending the trip with four in Toronto. We all know what they have there. The biggest thing is coming out of this road trip with our head above water, not letting things get away from us and having a bad road trip.''
Designated hitter Adam Dunn, who played for the Nationals in 2009 and 2010, said he's looking forward to returning and seeing the sights. And to playing probably one game in left field because the DH won't be in play in this interleague series.
"It's a great place, a great ballpark. I've got a lot of buddies over there,'' Dunn said.
Dunn hasn't taken a lot of fly balls in the outfield. He played left field one game during spring training. It was a last-minute decision, and Dunn scrambled to break in a brand new outfielder's glove before the game.
"The game I played in spring I felt good out there,'' he said. "I didn't feel too weird. I don't know if it's in the plans or not, what day, but I'll get out there and take some while I'm there.''
The Sox (4-2), who took two of three each from Kansas City and Seattle at home, planned to arrive on Monday and watch the NCAA national championship basketball game together as a team. Then it's down to the business of playing 20 straight games, starting with a challenging 10 on the road.
"I'm looking forward to it, oh yeah,'' closer Addison Reed said. "I don't see why anybody wouldn't be. I've never been to Washington so I'm amped up for that. Cleveland is a tough team and Toronto made some key acquisitions, but we don't think we're at a disadvantage to any of those teams.''
WHITE SOX AT NATIONALS
Tuesday: 6:05 p.m., Ch. 26, 670-AM, 97.5 FM
Jake Peavy (1-0, 1.50) vs. Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 0.00)
Wednesday: 6:05, CSN, 670-AM, 97.5 FM
Gavin Floyd (0-1, 3.00) vs. Jordan Zimmerman (1-0, 1.50)
Thursday: 6:05, CSN, 670-AM, 97.5 FM
Dylan Axelrod (0-0, 0.00) vs. Dan Haren (0-1, 13.50)