Konerko takes 'good swings' in ASG

July, 13, 2011
7/13/11
12:19
AM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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[+] EnlargeCarlos Quentin
Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesCarlos Quentin reached base on a throwing error by the Cubs' Starlin Castro.
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."

White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin was 0-for-2. He was the first runner to get on base in the top of the 9th on Castro's throw into the dirt that got past Joey Votto.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.17 208 174
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Abreu .317
HRJ. Abreu 36
RBIJ. Abreu 107
RA. Ramirez 82
OPSJ. Abreu .964
ERAC. Sale 2.17
SOC. Sale 208