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White Sox’ Paul Konerko still figuring out back issue



The facts: 3:10 p.m.,
Ch. 9, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.

The starters: Ubaldo Jimenez (6-4, 4.58 ERA) vs. Dylan Axelrod (3-4, 4.57).

Updated: July 30, 2013 8:53AM

Paul Konerko had an MRI exam Thursday on his ailing back and then a series of injections Friday. He still was unable to play and could be facing the disabled list.

‘‘Right now it’s day-to-day,’’ White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘Depending on how he feels and if it lingers, you could be thinking about it just to make sure you get it right.’’

Konerko said the MRI showed ‘‘a little difference’’ from one in 2006 that showed a slight tear around a disc.

‘‘It’s not something where you go in and fix it,’’ he said Friday. ‘‘Obviously I did something to aggravate it. Usually when you do something, you stop in your tracks and know you’re going to have a problem on your hands when you take a swing or check or something like that. But I didn’t really see this coming. Maybe it was that hot and humid in Kansas City that I did something.’’

Konerko hasn’t played since Tuesday. The injections require at least 48 hours of inactivity, but he admitted a longer stretch could mean the DL.

‘‘That’s probably more a question for [Sox officials],’’ he said. ‘‘If I do get to swing a bat tomorrow or test it out, I’d think at that point I would know. If I couldn’t do it, I don’t want to hold them up. I don’t want to be holding the team hostage with one less guy, but we’ll see.’’

Kid gloves

The Sox set a franchise record for defense last season (.9883) and had just 70 errors. Now they’re on pace to commit 119 and are next to last in the American League in defense (.980).

Alexei Ramirez committed his 14th in Game 1 on Friday, and it led to an unearned run in the eighth, giving the Sox a total of 35 unearned runs allowed.

Ventura admits the turn-around is ‘‘a head-scratcher.’’

‘‘There has never been a day that we haven’t emphasized playing defense and playing it right,’’ he said. ‘‘Sometimes it just doesn’t jell together the way you would like, and we have to find a way to make that happen.’’

Numbers game

The Sox’ bullpen had a sparkling 2.36 ERA in June before Friday, down from May’s 4.83 and April’s 3.88. But after it allowed 13 earned runs in 6 1/3 innings in Game 1, it climbed to 3.72.

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