Chicago White Sox: Konerko comes through in the clutch

Friday’s night was an emotional roller coaster for the Chicago White Sox (and the fans) as they eventually won their fourth straight game 9-8.

Jake Peavy hasn’t had the best offensive support this season and luckily, that changed Friday night. Adam Dunn continued his rebound season by hitting two more long balls, putting his total at a Major League leading 38. Alexei Ramirez contributed with a homer and three RBIs of his own. A.J. Pierzynski also came through with a sacrifice fly for his 70th RBI.

Konerko watches his game-winning hit

All this offensive production must have had Peavy (9-9) feeling pretty good when he left the game in the seventh inning. Peavy struck out five and allowed just two runs, lowering his ERA to 3.09. However, despite the game being 7-2 in favor of the good guys, it was far from over.

Former starter Philip Humber let up a home run to Jesus Montero to open the ninth frame. After walking the next batter, Veal came in and immediately let up a double. Figuring this was enough shenanigans, the Sox put in the closer Addison Reed to bring it home. Unfortunately, Reed didn’t seem to have his best stuff, either. Two walks, two singles, a sac-fly, and a throwing error from Alex Rios resulted in six Mariner runs, putting them up 8-7 going into the bottom of the ninth.

The Sox weren’t out of fight just yet, though. Gordon Beckham came out strong by hitting an infield single. After Dewayne Wise drew a tough walk, Kevin Youkilis hit the game-tying single to bring Beckham home. Youkilis’ contributions in the clutch this season since coming over from the Red Sox cannot be understated. There is no way the team would be 2 1/2 games ahead of the Tigers without him.

Following Youkilis, it looked like Adam Dunn had hit a walk-off homer (and his third of the night) when he flew out to deep left. However, Wise failed to tag up at second and the game remained at 8-8. If all these fireworks weren’t interesting enough, Paul Konerko still had work to do. In true captain fashion, Konerko hit it deep to right-center and the sighs from the crowd could be heard as Eric Thames caught the ball…then he collided with Michael Saunders, dropped the ball, Wise scored, and the crowd went wild.

It was a game filled with highs and lows, but they stuck with it and came out with a huge victory. It was the first day since August 12th that the White Sox have won and the Tigers have lost on the same day. If Sox fans are frustrated with the relentless Tigers, it can be certain that they are equally frustrated in Detroit. Wins like yesterday show that this team can score runs when it counts and not give up after making mistakes.

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