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- Paul Konerko
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By The Sports Xchange April 16, 2013 11:40 PM
Dayan Viciedo battled Blue Jays reliever Steve Delabar long enough to find a pitch he liked.TORONTO -- Manager Robin Ventura called it the best at-bat his Chicago White Sox have had in their young season as
Viciedo doubled to center field over the head of Emilio Bonifacio in the ninth inning, scoring pinch runner Dewayne Wise from second and giving the White Sox a one-run lead. Two batters later, Hector Gimenez's sacrifice fly scored Paul Konerko from third as the White Sox edged the Blue Jays 4-3 Tuesday night. "Those are the kinds of things I think help your offense as far as giving you a good feeling," Ventura said of his team's ninth-inning performance. "When they walked Alexei (Ramirez), it's not always easy to score Pauly from third, so (Gimenez) is doing his job." Konerko wasn't so certain he would be able to run out Rajai Davis' throw from right field on the sac fly. "I knew I was going. Joe (McEwing) let me know when the ball was in the air, but I'm never really confident when it comes to me trying to outrun a ball," Konerko joked. "I just ran as fast as I could. Obviously the throw was off the line a little bit. Even then it was still close. I don't have too much confidence in my speed, and rightfully so." Delabar (1-1) picked up his first loss of the season. Matt Lindstrom (1-0), who pitched a third of an inning, was credited with the win, and Addison Reed earned his fifth save of the season. Chicago improved to 2-6 on a 10-game road trip. In the bottom of the ninth, Edwin Encarnacion scored from third on Brett Lawrie's sacrifice fly, but the Blue Jays couldn't add anymore. The Blue Jays (6-8) had won three of their last four games. Lawrie, who had been out of the lineup since suffering a rib injury on March 6 during a World Baseball Classic tuneup game, showed he was fully recovered with a defensive gem in the top of the eighth. With two out, Lawrie charged the infield on Alex Rios' grounder and threw out the former Blue Jay in typical high-energy Lawrie fashion. "He made some great plays over there at third base," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Tremendous range, good arm. Yeah, it was good to see him out there." In the bottom of the sixth, J.P. Arencibia gave Toronto its first lead with a home run off Dylan Axelrod. It was Arencibia's fifth homer of the season and second in as many nights. Axelrod (0-1) finished the night throwing 94 pitches in six innings, surrendering two earned runs and seven hits while striking out four. Toronto's lead was short-lived, as Konerko took Josh Johnson deep to left field in the top of the seventh to tie it 2-2. White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie, who came into Tuesday's game hitting .429 (12 for 28) in his past eight games, followed Konerko trying to add to the offense but was robbed of a single by shortstop Munenori Kawasaki, who made an excellent diving grab behind second base. Gillaspie finished 0 for 3 with a walk and a strikeout. Johnson (0-1) went seven innings, allowing two earned runs and four hits while striking out eight. He threw 107 pitches in his longest outing of the season. Johnson became the first Blue Jays starter to complete seven innings this season. "I was more aggressive overall," Johnson said. "My fastball, curveball, slider -- everything was going not just to the catcher but through the catcher and through the zone. "That was the main focus for the start, and it worked out." With the Blue Jays trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second, Colby Rasmus took Axelrod's 1-2 offering deep to center field off the second deck for his fourth home run of the season. After striking out Dunn to lead off the second, Johnson allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases. Then with two out, Johnson uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Konerko to score from third. Johnson managed to limit the damage, striking out Gimenez for the final out of the inning. Konerko finished 2 for 3 with an RBI and three runs scored. NOTES: Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista missed his second straight game with a sore back. Gibbons revealed that Bautista is also suffering from an inner-ear infection. ... Toronto right-hander Jeremy Jeffress was outrighted by the Blue Jays on Tuesday. General manager Alex Anthopoulos said Jeffress would go to extended spring training and then likely to Triple-A Buffalo. ... According to Anthopoulos, left-hander Ricky Romero threw a simulated game Tuesday in Dunedin, Fla., but there is no timeline for him to return to game action. ... White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham underwent surgery to repair his fractured left hand and will require six weeks of recovery time. ... Chicago left-hander John Danks threw six innings in extended spring training in Arizona on Monday night and is scheduled to pitch again Saturday. ... For a second straight night, both teams observed a moment of silence to pay respect to the victims of Monday's Boston Marathon bombings.