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>> White Sox To Be Tested Right Out Of Break

 Featuring a slew of rookies and a first-year manager, the Chicago White Sox will open the second half of the season as the leaders in the AL Central.

They know the next 2 1/2 months will be even tougher with Cleveland and Detroit giving chase.

Manager Robin Ventura's low-key approach has gotten big approval ratings in the clubhouse and his team has played better than most expected. Ventura has repeated several times that the White Sox are not overachievers, rather a group playing to its capabilities.

Now comes the real test - a 10-game road trip and 16 of the next 19 games away from home.

>>Cardinals Start Second Half

(Cincinnati, OH)  --  The St. Louis Cardinals are back on the diamond this evening as they kick off the second half of their season with a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds.  Adam Wainwright goes up against Mat Latos in the opener.  The Cards finished the first half in third place in the NL Central at 46-and-40.  They are just two-and-a-half games behind Pittsburgh atop the division standings.

>>Cubs Kick Off Second Half

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Cubs are back in action this afternoon as they open up a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field.  Paul Maholm gets the nod opposite Ian Kennedy in the opener.  The Northsiders ended the first half in fifth place in the NL Central at 33-and-52.  They are just a half-game ahead of Houston and 15 games back of Pittsburgh atop the division standings.

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