CHICAGO (AP)—Paul Konerko was just glad he put an end to the game. Now he hopes he can halt his season-long slump, too.
His teammates went a little nuts in celebration.
“I felt like a rookie again,” Konerko said. “I got a pie in my face, I got champagne and beer and whatever the heck on my head and all that. I have to go back to the trainer now. Toby Hall got me pretty good with some shaving cream and I got to get it (his eye) cleaned out.”
Konerko is now 5-for-6 with four homers in his career against the Royals’ left-hander.
“I can’t say I was even happy, more just like relief because we won the game and it was over and I did something positive for the team,” Konerko said.
Bothered by a sore right hand, Konerko managed just one homer in May and was in an 11-for-73 skid when he connected for the game-winner.
“Even if I don’t have the year I want to have, it doesn’t mean I can’t get big hits and do good things. And I know there is a lot of time left, but even if that happens that’s fine, I’ll try to be clutch,” he added. “I’ve failed enough already, so I’m looking to try to help out here.”
Octavio Dotel (3-2) pitched 2 2-3 innings of hitless relief for Chicago. Each team used seven pitchers in the 4-hour, 23-minute game.
“A couple of nice defensive plays for them and there wasn’t a lot of hitting going on,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said. “Fundamentally we were pretty sound and that kept us in it.”
DeJesus hit a tying two-run single in the ninth off White Sox closer Bobby Jenks but was then picked off first for the second out of the inning. John Buck and pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo opened the ninth with singles and after a sacrifice, DeJesus delivered a single to center as Jenks blew his third save in 17 chances.
After Olivo was hit in the side by a Dotel pitch in the 13th, he slammed his bat to the ground and was escorted to first base by coach Rusty Kuntz and Hillman.
Crede’s 10th homer broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth and he added a two-out RBI double in the following inning.
Thome’s 464-foot blast to center—the ninth longest homer in U.S. Cellular Field history—tied it at 2 in the fourth. It was his 11th of the season and 518th of his career.
Chicago starter John Danks went 5 2-3 innings, giving up six hits and two runs.
Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar also lasted 5 2-3, giving up five hits, four runs and five walks.
After Crede’s homer off Hochevar in the fifth, it appeared initially the White Sox added another run when Ramirez raced home from second as Kansas City shortstop Esteban German committed an error on Quentin’s grounder.
Ramirez slid into the plate as he was blocked off by Royals catcher Buck who didn’t catch the ball. Ramirez got up and went into the dugout as the run went up on the scoreboard. But moments after Hillman came out to talk to home plate umpire Bill Miller, Ramirez was ruled out for not touching the plate when Hochevar tossed the ball to Buck as Konerko was coming to bat. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen came out of the dugout for a ruling but did not argue.
Olivo led off the second with a solo homer and Teahen added another in the fourth to give Hochevar and the Royals a 2-0 lead.
The Royals loaded the bases on two singles and a walk in the fifth before Nick Masset relieved Danks and struck out Buck to end the threat.
After Crede’s double in the sixth made it 4-2, the White Sox loaded the bases but A.J. Pierzynski flied out.
^Notes: Crede left the game after the 12th inning with a bruised right wrist. He made a nice stop in the top of the inning on a hard grounder by DeJesus. He said after the game X-rays were negative and he should be fine, even though the wrist was bandaged. … Royals 3B Alex Gordon made a great catch of Nick Swisher’s foul pop in the fourth inning. He fell over the tarpaulin along the third base line and into the seats but hung on to the ball. … Thome is two homers behind Frank Thomas, who is 18th on the all-time homers list.