Paul vs. pal: Konerko 1-for-3 against Mark Buehrle
By Daryl Van Schouwen Staff Reporter June 29, 2014 8:52PM
TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 29: Moises Sierra #25 of the Chicago White Sox is congratulated by Paul Konerko #14 after both runners scored on a single in the ninth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on June 29, 2014 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 477585791
Updated: August 1, 2014 6:24AM
TORONTO — Two heroes from the 2005 World Series met up Sunday, nine seasons later.
Paul Konerko, still wearing his old uniform, stood in the batter’s box against Mark Buehrle, wearing Toronto Blue Jays blue and white.
“I’m glad it’s over,’’ Konerko said. “Whether I get a hit or make an out, I don’t enjoy any of it because he just doesn’t look right in another uniform. Even when I watch on TV, it doesn’t look right. So certainly when I’m hitting against him, it doesn’t. But you have a job to do, and he’s doing the same.’’
Konerko lined a single his first time up, Buehrle struck him out in Round 2 and Konerko flied out to left in the third at-bat. Buehrle pitched a typical Buehrle game, holding the White Sox to two runs in eight innings.
But Jose Quintana was even better in this battle of lefties, pitching seven scoreless innings before Eric Surkamp and Jake Petricka finished off the team’s first shutout in the 4-0 victory.
Quintana (5-7, 3.44 ERA) pitched seven innings or more for the seventh time in his young career. But in the previous six, he received a total of four runs and was stuck with a no-decision each time.
“He attacked the zone,’’ manager Robin Ventura said, “and if he can get ahead and stay there and mix speeds like he did today, he’s tough. He was moving it around both sides of the plate, and Mark was doing the same thing. He was just as good.’’
Buehrle (10-5) went six innings or more for the 12th time in a row. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 13 of his 17 starts.
“He’s just the master at limiting damage and quick outs,’’ Konerko said. “You have to have your act together against him because he works quick, and before you know it, it’s 0-2 or 1-2, and you’re behind the eight-ball. He’s just good. Buehrle is one of a kind.’’
Sierra stings former team
Moises Sierra got a start in right field against Buehrle and came through in the fourth inning with his second homer. He also doubled against ex-Sox pitcher Sergio Santos and scored along with Konerko on Tyler Flowers’ single in the ninth. The Sox signed Sierra after the Jays designated him for assignment on May 1.
“I pretty much teed one up for him, and that’s what he’s supposed to do with it,’’ Buehrle said.
This and that
The Sox won three in a row on the road for the first time since May 4-6. Their 11-game trip began badly with four losses in Minnesota, two in Baltimore on bullpen implosions and a 7-0 loss to start the Toronto series Thursday. The Sox have won eight of their last 11 at Rogers Centre.
† Ventura was asked about Jose Abreu’s stated reluctance to participate in the Home Run Derby during All-Star week.
“If he would like to avoid it, he should just say no,’’ Ventura said. “It’s usually pretty simple. He can avoid it if he wants to. That would be fine with me.’’