CHICAGO -- Paul Konerko just wants to trust his instincts every time he steps to the plate. The way he's stinging the ball, why wouldn't he?
"It doesn't come easy," Konerko said.He sure is making it look that way, and so are his teammates, for that matter.Dayan Viciedo homered in his third straight game, Konerko had four hits, and the Chicago White Sox pounded Derek Lowe and the short-handed Cleveland Indians 14-7 on Saturday for their eighth win in nine games.
Chicago scored four in the first and four more while chasing Lowe in the third after Cleveland scored five in the top half. Viciedo's two-run homer made it 8-5, and the White Sox pulled away late after Cleveland got within one, tying a season high with their fourth straight win.They now trail the first-place Indians by just 1 1-2 games in the AL Central and will try to complete the sweep on Sunday, after another impressive day at the plate.They set season highs for hits (17) and runs and have scored 81 over the past 12 games.Alex Rios had three hits, including a two-run homer in the eighth after being robbed of a three-run drive by center fielder Michael Brantley in the first. Viciedo also had three hits and drove in five runs, and Konerko came up big again, just as he's been doing."I feel like I'm going to go to work when I go up there," he said. "That's all I feel. I feel like I'm going to work when I'm up there. I try to trust what I'm doing, but that could change. (If there's) something you trusted on a couple of pitches and you don't trust it on one, that can be the one pitch that makes an out. I'm just trying to trust what I'm doing up there."Konerko had three doubles while raising his average from .381 to .396 and extending his hitting streak to 12 games, drove in two runs and scored three. With the White Sox clinging to an 8-7 lead, he led off a four-run seventh with a walk and came around when shortstop Juan Diaz mishandled the throw from Brantley on Rios' double to left-center. Viciedo singled in a run and the White Sox got two more with one out and the bases loaded, when Alejandro De Aza forced a runner at second with a grounder to short and Casey Kotchman dropped the throw to first.That made it 12-7 and, finally, allowed the White Sox to exhale on a day when it looked like they might cruise to an easy victory.Lowe (6-3) simply didn't have it. He lasted just 2 1/3 innings in his shortest start this season and watched his ERA jump from an American League-leading 2.15 to 3.25 after giving up eight runs -- the most for him since he allowed eight early last August against Washington when he was with Atlanta."Sometimes you just stink and there's no reason to analyze the game," he said. "When you stink, you stink. It was a bad time for a really bad game."Jake Peavy (6-1) wasn't much better, though."I tried to do every last bit I could to keep us in the game," Peavy said. "It wasn't pretty out there, but a win's a win."He gave up a pair of two-run homers to Chicago-area product Jason Kipnis and allowed seven runs in all while struggling through 6 1/3 innings even though the Indians were missing the middle of their order.With Travis Hafner already sidelined because of inflammation in his right knee, Cleveland took two more big hits after Carlos Santana (mild concussion) and Asdrubal Cabrera (tight left hamstring) left Friday's game.Both players were out of the lineup on Saturday, with manager Manny Acta saying Santana is likely headed to the seven-day concussion list and Cabrera is day to day."The game works in a mysterious way," Acta said. "I really thought we were going to struggle to score runs with our lineup, and it went the other way around."
Brantley's catch on Rios was one for the highlight reel. He raced back and leaped in stride, his elbow touching the yellow stripe on top of the wall as he reached up to snag what would have been a homer. ... Hafner will be re-evaluated on Monday. Although Acta didn't completely rule it out, he downplayed the possibility of surgery for the slugger. "It's obviously a consideration for everyone that is hurt," Acta said.... White Sox 3B Brent Morel took some swings and some grounders before the game for the first time since he went on the disabled list earlier in the week because of a strained back. He said he'll travel with the team to Tampa after this series and probably go on a minor league rehab assignment after that. "We've got to see how it feels the next couple of days, and then we'll go from there," he said. "It's all just how it feels. If it feels fine, I'll be able to do more every day."