- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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There was a distinct Chicago flavor to the end of the 82nd All-Star Game on Tuesday as Chicago White Sox captain Paul Konerko grounded out to Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro with two on and two outs. The NL won its third game in the last four years with a 5-1 victory.
"I can't complain about it," Konerko said. "I got a couple of at-bats, and I had a couple of good swings. But I would have liked to have extended the game.
"If I would have gotten a [hit], I could have let some of the guys behind me pick me up."
Konerko, playing in his fifth All-Star Game in front of his hometown fans, was 0-for-1 with a walk after entering the game as a pinch-hitter for DH David Ortiz.
"I wasn't really nervous," Konerko said. "I know my people are watching, but you kind of learn to block that stuff out.
"To be honest, after you played 90 games up to this point, you become kind of a robot anyway."
Konerko and his teammates are five games out of first with 70 games to play. The White Sox's first challenge is a three-game set in Detroit starting Friday.
"We have to do a lot of things better," Konerko said. "People keep saying it's about our offense, but we have a lot of little things to clean up.
"We are going to get after it right away against Detroit this weekend. They are going to have their big boy [Justin Verlander] on the mound. We are going to have to break his serve one of these times. He's been dominating us so far. Hopefully we can get to him early on Friday."