Paul Konerko scores big insurance run in Sox’ 4-3 win
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com April 16, 2013 8:11PM
Updated: April 17, 2013 12:11AM
TORONTO — The way the White Sox have been playing — poorly — and the way things historically go for them at Rogers Centre — badly — their 4-3 victory Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays felt like a huge relief.
“We’re not clicking on all cylinders right now,’’ Paul Konerko said. “We’re not close to it, really. That happens to every team during the year, and it’s kind of our time right now. We have to keep grinding and get out of it and try to pick up some wins along the way, too.’’
Konerko used his bat and, in an unusual turn of events, his legs as well to account for three of the Sox’ runs. He homered on a 3-0 pitch against Josh Johnson to put the Sox in a 2-2 tie, and after Dayan Viciedo doubled in the go-ahead run in the ninth, the slow-footed Konerko hustled and slid home with an insurance run the Sox would need after Addison Reed (fifth save in five chances) allowed a run for the first time.
“I knew I was going,’’ Konerko said of his tag-up on catcher Hector Gimenez’s fly to medium right near the line that was gloved by Emilio Bonifacio. “I’m never confident when it comes to me trying to outrun a ball. I ran as fast as I could, the throw was off the line a little, and even then, it was close. I don’t have too much confidence in my speed, but we were up already, so take a chance and go as hard as I could.’’
The win was the Sox’ second in seven games on their 10-game road trip.
“There are some good signs, but we’re not out of the woods yet,’’ Konerko said. “We have to get off this road trip with a couple more wins, get home and try to get hot.
“It was a good win because we’ve played a lot of games like that in this ballpark, and they always seem like losses. So it was a good win for us.’’
Viciedo roped a double to the center-field wall to score pinch runner Dewayne Wise with the go-ahead run. Viciedo’s double followed walks by Jays reliever Steve Delabar to Adam Dunn (0-for-3) and Konerko, only the 20th and 21st walks of the season for the Sox.
For manager Robin Ventura, the walks came at the right time.
“Those are the big at-bats, then finally you get the big hit with Tank,’’ Ventura said. “It’s a work in progress, and you keep doing it over and over again. But that’s the kind of stuff you’re looking for.”
The Sox were also looking for and got a strong start from Dylan Axelrod, who gave up two runs on solo homers by Colby Rasmus and J.P. Arencibia in the second and sixth innings.
Axelrod pitched six innings, allowing seven hits, two runs and one walk and striking out four. He was replaced by lefty Hector Santiago in the seventh. Santiago retired all five batters he faced, and Matt Lindstrom (1-0) retired one batter as the Sox’ bullpen continued to sparkle. At least that’s one component that’s clicking.
“We’ve got a lot of guys, including myself, that are still trying to find it,’’ Dunn said. “It’s way too early to be pushing the panic button, that’s for sure.
‘‘This has been kind of a road trip from hell for us. We haven’t been able to score any runs. For the most part, we’ve been getting good pitching. We just haven’t been able to put runs on the board. We spoiled a couple of really good outings, and tonight we were lucky enough to get the big hit when we needed it.’’