They are, however, satisfied, as they claim they have yet to play their best baseball, despite recording eight wins in their last 10 contests and enjoying a four-game division lead after a three-game sweep of the reigning division champion Tigers.
"Nothing that these guys do surprises me," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "I believe in these guys. We've played good ball. We've been doing that. We haven't played our best baseball yet, but we're playing good baseball."
In the series opener, the Tribe will square off against Jose Quintana, who will make his first Major League start on Friday in place of John Danks, who was scratched with soreness in the back of his left shoulder and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
After nine starts at Double-A Birmingham, Quintana has a 1-3 record and 2.77 ERA. He has made one Major League appearance. In relief of Philip Humber in the first game of a May 7 doubleheader, Quintana hurled 5 2/3 scoreless innings, limiting Cleveland to one hit and saving the Chicago bullpen. He was added to the roster that day under the new league provision that grants teams a 26th player for for a day-night doubleheader.
"He was coming in to limit the damage and did more than that. He did great," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "He was keeping them off-balance, and he was composed."
Cleveland will counter with right-hander Jeanmar Gomez, whom the White Sox shelled to the tune of eight runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings on May 9. Overall, however, Gomez is 3-2 with a 3.19 ERA and four quality starts in his last five outings.
Indians: Tribe on a roll with Choo hitting leadoff
Shin-Soo Choo is batting .350 since being inserted into the leadoff spot on May 14. He led off Thursday's contest with a home run off Tigers ace Justin Verlander.
The Indians are 8-2 since Choo moved to the top of the order, and Acta has no plans to mess with success.
"If it ain't broke, why fix it?" Acta said. "He's doing well, we're doing well. It's the best thing for us now. Why try to experiment with someone else?"
Designated hitter Travis Hafner missed Thursday's game after fouling a ball off his right leg on Wednesday. He stayed in the game and hit a game-tying two-run homer in the sixth inning and knocked in the go-ahead run with a groundout in the eighth, but is now listed as day to day.
White Sox: Reed is club's closer
After shuffling through Hector Santiago, Chris Sale and Matt Thornton, the White Sox have settled on rookie Addison Reed as their closer.
"He's earned that, and I feel comfortable putting him in there," said Ventura of his top-notch rookie. "That's who we'd be using if we're winning."
The 23-year-old right-hander has a 4.05 ERA in 17 appearances, with 17 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings.
Tribe setup man Vinnie Pestano did not record a strikeout in his inning of work on Thursday, snapping a streak of 23 consecutive appearances with a punchout.
Wednesday's 6-0 victory over Minnesota was Chicago's fifth shutout of the season.