White Sox rally to beat Blue Jays

Published: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 5:30 a.m.CDT
Caption
(Frank Gunn)
Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia dives to try to make the tag as Chicago White Sox Paul Konerko slides into home plate for the game-winning run during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Toronto on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

TORONTO – Paul Konerko's base running as well as his power helped give the White Sox a much-needed win.

Dayan Viciedo doubled home the go-ahead run in the ninth inning, Konerko later scored on a sacrifice fly and Chicago rallied to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 on Tuesday.

"It was a gritty win," Konerko said. "It was a good win because we've played a lot of games that looked like that in this ballpark and they always seem to be losses."

Chicago came in having lost 19 of their past 22 games in Toronto, but Konerko made sure they didn't lose on Tuesday. The veteran DH hit a game-tying homer and scored three runs as the White Sox won for just the second time in eight games.

The White Sox were swept in a three-game series in Washington last week and dropped two of three at Cleveland over the weekend before losing Monday's opener in Toronto.

"This has been a road trip from hell for us," slugger Adam Dunn said. "We haven't been able to score any runs."

They scratched out just enough to win this one. Facing reliever Steve Delabar, Dunn walked to begin the ninth and was replaced by pinch runner Dewayne Wise.

Konerko followed with a walk and Conor Gillaspie struck out before Viciedo drove in Wise with a double over the head of center fielder Emilio Bonifacio.

"Those are the kind of things that help your offense as far as giving you a good feeling," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.

Alexei Ramirez was intentionally walked and Darren Oliver came on to face Hector Gimenez, who drove in Konerko with a sacrifice fly to right. Konerko slid home safely when the throw from Davis missed wide.

"It's not always easy to score Paulie from third," Ventura said with a wry smile.

No one knows that better than Konerko.

"I'm never really confident when it comes to me trying to outrun a ball," he said. "I ran as fast as I could. Obviously the throw was off line a little bit. Even then it was still close."

Dunn called it a "hold your breath" play.

Matt Lindstrom (1-0) got one out for the win and Addison Reed finished for his fifth save in as many opportunities.

Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind hit consecutive singles off Reed to begin the ninth, just the second and third hits he's allowed this season. Brett Lawrie followed with a sacrifice fly, but Reed got Rajai Davis and Maicer Izturis to fly out.

Colby Rasmus and J.P. Arencibia hit solo home runs for the Blue Jays, who couldn't hold on after taking a 2-1 lead in the sixth.

Delabar (1-1) allowed two runs and one hit in 1 1-3 innings.

The White Sox opened the scoring in the second, loading the bases with two singles and a walk before Konerko scored from third on a wild pitch by Blue Jays right-hander Josh Johnson.

Rasmus tied it in the bottom half with a two-out blast to center, his fourth.

Arencibia put the Blue Jays in front with a two-out homer in the sixth, his fifth of the season and second in two days.

Johnson had retired 10 straight White Sox batters, but his streak ended quickly in the seventh as he fell behind 3-0 on Konerko before allowing a game-tying homer to left. For Konerko, the drive was his third.

"His stuff was really good tonight," Konerko said of Johnson. "I got lucky to get a couple of fastballs that didn't have a lot of movement."

Neither starter figured in the decision. Chicago's Dylan Axelrod allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, walked one and struck out four. Johnson allowed two runs and four hits in a season-high seven innings. He walked two and struck out eight, also a season high.

"He was terrific," manager John Gibbons said of Johnson. "I thought maybe early he was overthrowing a little bit but he settled in and did a great job. He kept us in the game. We're still waiting for the offense to break out."

Lawrie made his first start of the season after being activated off the 15-day disabled list Monday. Lawrie had been sidelined since early March with a strained left ribcage muscle suffered at the World Baseball Classic.

Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game suffering from a sore back and flu-like symptoms.

"He wasn't ready to pinch hit," Gibbons said. "Hopefully he'll be ready (Wednesday)."

NOTES: Following the game, the White Sox optioned RHP Deunte Heath to Triple-A Charlotte. A corresponding roster move will be made before Wednesday's game. ... Blue Jays LHP Ricky Romero threw a simulated game at extended spring training Tuesday, but is still not scheduled to appear in a minor league game. Toronto's opening day starter in 2012, Romero was optioned to Class A Dunedin near the end of spring training. ... Chicago pitching coach Don Cooper, who has been away while recovering from an illness, is set to rejoin the team Friday when the White Sox return to host the Minnesota Twins.

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