MINNEAPOLIS — It’s been a while since Paul Konerko has gone on one of those Konerko tears where he carries the team. In recent days there have been signs that his bat is coming to life.
In the Sox’ 5-3 win against the Twins on Saturday, the White Sox cleanup hitter homered to left field for two of his three RBI. The night before he flied out to a spacious part of Targert Field in deep right center. He has turned on a couple of inside fastballs and hit the ball hard to left in recent days.
“I’ve been up there grinding,” Konerko said. “I like the way I’m going pitch-to-pitch as far as competing. Obviously in the Detroit series we saw some good arms and good pitching so when you’re doing what you want they can do some things to you.”
If Konerko is hurting anywhere, he’s not showing it. And he’s certainly not talking about it, if his terse answer to a question about his health last week in Chicago is an indication.
Manager Robin Ventura’s eyes brightened a bit when asked about Konerko after Saturday’s game. He knows what a huge lift Konerko can supply to his lineup if he returns to his first-half, All-Star caliber form that saw Konerko (.310) batting .399 on May 27.
“Yeah, it just sounds different off his bat,” Ventura said. “That’s the thing. You hear it. And it’s different for him, too. He’s feeling that confidence. He’s had some better passes at the plate and that’s a good thing for us.”
“I’ve taken a couple of nice BPs. I’m hitting some balls, moving the ball around the field,” Konerko said. “My accuracy seems a little bit better just hitting line drives and stuff. But at this point everybody is dialed into not who does it, just let’s get it done. Every day, hopefully we get contributions.”
Adam Dunn returned from his oblique injury and is batting third in front of Konerko again.
“Everything seems right again,” Ventura said. “You have your regular lineup in there and everybody is pretty comfortable with the way that rolls. You’re used to batting behind somebody and they’ve won a lot of games that way so everybody feels good.”