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Swing and a wrist for Beckham

Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Donnie Veal (46) stands with catcher Tyler Flowers (21) third baseman Conor Gillaspie (12)

Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Donnie Veal (46) stands with catcher Tyler Flowers (21) and third baseman Conor Gillaspie (12), before being relieved during the seventh inning of an interleague baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in Washington. The Nationals won 8-7. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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Updated: April 10, 2013 12:27AM



WASHINGTON — Poor Gordon Beckham. Just when the second baseman was enjoying a nice start to an important year, batting .333 in his first week after having a solid spring, an odd injury jumped up and bit him on the left wrist.

Beckham felt something sharp when he swung and missed at a 2-1 pitch from Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez during the second inning of an 8-7 Sox loss. He finished the at-bat, striking out, and played an inning in the field before coming out of the game.

He said he likely will miss at least two games with nerve irritation.

“It’s going to take a couple days,’’ Beckham said. “It hurts now just standing here.’’

Judging by Beckham’s demeanor and level of discomfort, it could be more than two days. The clubhouse was closed longer than usual after the game, possibly while general manager Rick Hahn and Ventura discussed options if Beckham must go on the disabled list.

Paul Konerko (four RBI) broke out of a 2-for-20 season-opening cold streak with a three-run homer, sacrifice fly and two walks, and Alex Rios homered for the fourth consecutive game.

But the Sox fell victim to four home runs. Jayson Werth and Adam La Roche each hit two-run shots against Jake Peavy in the sixth inning to give Washington a 6-2 lead. Ian Desmond had homered leading off the fifth, and La Roche, who was hitless going into the game, hit another homer against Matt Thornton in the eighth.

La Roche’s second blast got bigger when Rios got his third hit of the night, a two-run homer against closer Rafael Soriano.

“Nice to watch the boys swing the bats and fight to the end. We’re going to do that,’’ said Peavy, who gave up six runs and nine hits while striking out seven and walking one. “Just hate putting us in a hole there. I know the bullpen guys will tell you the same thing. We just couldn’t stop the bleeding.’’

After Rios homered, Konerko came up one last time with two outs but flied out with Adam Dunn waiting in the on-deck circle to pinch-hit.

Peavy said the heat got to him, and it looked like his tank was running low after he walked Ryan Zimmerman in the sixth. He had struck out La Roche twice, but this time La Roche got him with the first homer.

“He looked good but going through their lineup, they are tough,’’ Ventura said. “It takes a lot out of you to go through that lineup. A lot of good at-bats, at-bat after at-bat. It was just one of those that they finally got to him.’’

Beckham was replaced by Angel Sanchez for three innings before Jeff Keppinger moved from third to second. Ventura said Keppinger — who was batting .048 going in before getting two singles — likely would play second, with Conor Gillaspie playing third Wednesday night, when the Sox play the Nationals in the second game of a three-game series that kicks off a 10-game road trip.

Getting Keppinger and Konerko going would be a plus for the Sox. For the first night, they took some of the sting from the loss, and Beckham’s wrist.

“It was a good night,’’ said Konerko, whose three-run homer against Tyler Clippard in the seventh cut Washington’s lead to 6-5. “I just saw the ball well and had my approach in order and got deep into some good counts and took a good swing on the homer and put together pitch-after-pitch. I was pretty good tonight.’’



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