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A-men: Addison Reed loved Angels

Mark Trumbo A.J. Pierzynski

Mark Trumbo, A.J. Pierzynski

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Updated: October 23, 2012 6:13AM



ANAHEIM, Calif. — White Sox rookie closer Addison Reed grew up about 30 miles from Angel Stadium rooting for Jim Edmonds, Tim Salmon and Troy Percival.

“The Angels were my favorite team until the day I got drafted by the Sox,’’ Reed said. “Percival is the whole reason why I wanted to start closing — watching him come in for the ninth inning.’’

So it’s understandable why Reed, 23, was more psyched than usual before the game Friday at the Big A. When the Sox played here in May, Reed didn’t get to pitch.

He left knowing there would be another chance. He hoped they would be meaningful September games.

“Hopefully I’ll get to pitch in the next three games,’’ Reed said. “But if we win all three and I don’t, that would be OK, too.’’

Immediate family, relatives, friends from high school and “half my team from San Diego State” were planning to be on hand this weekend.

Manager Robin Ventura, of Santa Maria, Calif., also had a large contingent of family on hand.

“Too many,’’ he said. “They’re coming to watch me sit in the dugout.’’

Konerko returns

After taking one day off to recharge for the last 13 games of the regular season and possible postseason, Paul Konerko returned to the lineup as the designated hitter. Ventura revealed that Konerko has been dealing with a stiff back. Konerko downplayed it Friday.

“We’ll find out when we get out there,’’ Konerko said. “It was nothing overly bad.’’

Ventura said Konerko might play first base Saturday.

Pennant race

Much of the discussion in and around the Sox’ clubhouse after two bad losses in Kansas City is that Sox hitters tried to do too much. With pennant-race pressure mounting, the Sox were 2-for-20 with runners in scoring position in those losses. Two baserunning mistakes Thursday also were costly.

Ventura said he spoke to individuals but not to the team as a whole about those issues.

“You just continue to play,’’ Ventura said. “Nobody is doing things on purpose, but sometimes I think guys want to do more. They try to do more than they need to do. The game is in front of you. Just play the game and enjoy. “

Crain on the move

Reliever Jesse Crain has one of best moves to first for a right-hander. He came close to picking off Jarrod Dyson in the ninth inning Thursday in Kansas City before Dyson stole second and scored the winning run on Eric Hosmer’s single.

“Since I was in high school, I’ve had a pretty good one,’’ Crain said. “I played shortstop through college, and I like to think of myself as an athlete. I have short arm action, too, so that goes into it. It gives me a little advantage, keeping guys close.’’

Bullish

The bullpen owned an ERA of 0.96 in the last seven games before Friday. Nate Jones (8-0) has thrown 171/3 scoreless innings in his last 17 appearances, the longest active streak in the American League.



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