They have the best record in the majors. They have been in first place two weeks longer this year than they had for the previous four seasons combined.

Yet the White Sox keep hearing that they haven't played anybody.

"Right now, we played, how many, 70 games against Triple A teams?" Chicago Manager Ozzie Guillen joked.

The White Sox, the class of the American League, will put their record on the line in the next few weeks when their schedule toughens.

Including the current four-game series against the Red Sox, 26 of their next 32 games are against .500-or-better teams.

That includes a brutal stretch of 15 games between Aug. 8 and 25 when they play the Red Sox, Yankees and Twins exclusively.

"Right now, I feel like we can play anybody. We can match up," Guillen said. "It's a pretty good hitting team and, hopefully, my pitching staff can keep throwing the way they did."

The White Sox won 63 of their first 95 games and got fat on a mediocre American League Central. But Guillen has an answer for that, too.

"Our division is pretty tough in the pitching [part] and this game is all about pitching."

* NIXED: Rangers CF Laynce Nix said he will have season-ending surgery on his right shoulder next week. The Rangers also added RHP James Baldwin to the roster and recalled 1B Adrian Gonzalez from Class AAA Oklahoma. LHP Erasmo Ramirez and IF Marshall McDougall were optioned to Oklahoma.

* PAINFUL BOND: Indians DH Travis Hafner missed his seventh straight game with a concussion he suffered when Chicago's Mark Buehrle hit him in the face with a pitch. Hafner saw the cringe-inducing photograph of American diver Chelsea Davis, who hit her nose on the diving board during the World Swimming Championships in Montreal on Friday. Davis received stitches and was fortunate not to be hurt worse. "I should give her a call and maybe we could share war stories," Hafner said.

-- From News Services

"We played, how many, 70 games against Triple A teams?" Manager Ozzie Guillen joked about lack of respect for Chicago.