Konerko’s 4-for-4 game not enough in Sox’ 7-5 loss
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com June 18, 2013 10:18PM
Updated: June 18, 2013 11:04PM
MINNEAPOLIS – Momentum for the White Sox was only as good as tomorrow’s starting pitcher.
After their victory against the Astros stopped a four-game losing streak on Monday night, the Sox came to Target Field desperately needing to get a winning streak started. Four Twins runs in the first inning against Dylan Axelrod turned that into a tough assignment, and despite Paul Konerko’s 4-for-4 effort, the Sox could not get it done.
After the Sox chipped away at the Twins lead, tying the score at 5 on Konerko’s single in the eighth inning that scored Alex Rios from second and pull the Sox into a 5-all tie, the Twins’ Ryan Doumit ruined the comeback with a two-run, two-out double against Ramon Troncoso in the bottom of the inning that lifted Minnesota to a 7-5 victory.
Troncoso (0-2) had retired the first two Twins in the eighth before walking Clete Thomas and giving up a single to Joe Mauer to set the stage for Doumit.
Glen Perkins got his 15th save for the Twins with a perfect ninth, striking out Gordon Beckham and Tyler Flowers to start the inning.
It was the first four-hit game since last July 24 for Konerko, who raised his average 13 points to .248.
The Sox know they have to chip away at the teams above them in the AL Central standings, starting with the Twins who were a half game ahead of them.
“You can have a mindset that you feel you are chipping away but right now we’ll take [wins against] anybody,’’ manager Robin Ventura said before the game. “Within the division it’s nice when you win because you kind of catch somebody. [But we’re] focsuing more on the process of what we’re doing than looking up at the scoreboard or standings.’’
The Sox were looking up at the Twins in the game soon after second baseman Beckham’s low throw that Adam Dunn couldn’t pick out of the dirt put leadoff man Thomas on base in the first inning Mauer made it hurt with an opposite field homer to left to quickly make it 2-0, and the Twins batted around in the inning, scoring two more on Trevor Plouffe’s bases loaded single.
Axelrod, who was pushed back in the rotation to work out some kinks, was pitching for the first time in eight days and looking for his first win since May 26.