The .500 mark never looked more appealing to Robin Ventura and his players.

The White Sox completed their first sweep of the season after trumping the miserable Marlins 5-3 on Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field to improve to 24-24.

"You have to get (to .500) first," the Sox manager said. "Once you're there … I think we've been on a decent run of feeling like you're going to win games. You just continue to come in with the expectation you're going to play hard and you're going to win a game."

The third-place Sox have won nine of their last 12 after starter Dylan Axelrod (3-3) trudged through 5 1/3 innings to get the win and Matt Lindstrom, Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain and Addison Reed blanked the Marlins the rest of the way. Reed earned his 17th save.

Sox outfielders Dayan Viciedo and Alex Rios each threw out a runner at the plate to keep the Marlins at bay.

"I just always believe you have to be able to play good defense," Ventura said."If you don't have those things happen, the game changes and guys are still on base. You're still down and out.

"People, for one reason or another, are trying to run on Viciedo, He's very good. When he gets it and he's timed up, he's a pretty good, accurate guy."

The Sox took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Adam Dunn's 12th homer of the season off starter Alex Sanabia (3-7). Alexei Ramirez had reached on a one-out single before Dunn took Sanabia's first pitch into the left-field bleachers. Alejandro De Aza had two doubles, including one that scored two runs in the second inning to give the Sox a 4-2 lead.

"You've got to beat people that on paper you're supposed to beat," Dunn said of the 13-37 Marlins.