Blue Jays sweep doubleheader, extend winning streak to 10

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Toronto Blue Jays are on such a good run they think they can make the playoffs.

Marco Scutaro hit a leadoff homer, Scott Rolen and Vernon Wells went deep and the Blue Jays beat the Chicago White Sox 8-2 to complete a day-night doubleheader sweep Tuesday and extend their winning streak to 10.

Besides the sweep, the White Sox also got a big scare.

Paul Konerko was helped off the field in the top of the fifth inning of the nightcap with what the team called a mildly sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee, and he thinks that's just what it is -- a sprain and nothing more. He'll find out Wednesday when he has an MRI.

"I felt that knee cave inward and kind of click in there, a couple clicks further than it probably should go," Konerko said. "It put me down right away. It scared me more than anything. It hurt, but the pain went away. That scared me more because you hear people say it doesn't hurt when you blow something out."

That was the lone bit of good news for the White Sox on a day they saw their lead over Minnesota in the American League Central drop from 2 1/2 to one game.

The Blue Jays continued their late push toward a playoff spot, moving within seven games of the Red Sox in the AL wild-card race as a three-day, four-game weekend showdown in Boston approaches. Toronto is on its longest winning streak since taking a franchise-record 11 in a row in from Aug. 27-Sept. 7, 1998, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"We've got to keep it rolling," said Jesse Litsch, who pitched seven strong innings in the second game. "We're in a race."

Toronto took the opener 3-1 as A.J. Burnett allowed one hit in seven innings -- a hard drive off his third baseman.

Chicago didn't fare any better against Litsch (11-8) in the nightcap.

The right-hander allowed two runs and six hits, struck out six and walked two after pitching a four-hit shutout against Minnesota last week.

Scutaro hit his second career leadoff homer, and Rolen's two-run shot highlighted a four-run fifth in which the Blue Jays took a 5-2 lead and knocked out Clayton Richard (2-4).

Rolen's drive made it 3-2, and Richard left shortly after with runners on first and second with none out. D.J. Carrasco came in and with one out, Alex Rios drove a run-scoring single to right.

Konerko cut off Jermaine Dye's throw toward the plate and his knee buckled as he released a throw toward second. Rios was eventually tagged out in a rundown, but Konerko writhed in pain before leaving the field.

While an agitated manager Ozzie Guillen called it a "week by week" situation and said "make sure you don't ask me everyday about P.K." before walking away, Konerko seemed confident there was no major damage.

He said the MRI was simply for "peace of mind."

Considering MVP candidate Carlos Quentin broke his right wrist last week, the last thing the White Sox need is to lose Konerko. If he is out for an extended time?

"I still believe they can do it," Guillen said.

They didn't get the job done Tuesday.

Richard allowed five runs and five hits, and Lance Broadway gave up a solo homer to Wells in the ninth.

In the first game, the Blue Jays' Lyle Overbay hit a two-run, two-out double in the sixth off Javier Vazquez (11-13), and Rod Barajas singled in a run against Mike MacDougal in the ninth.

Burnett (17-10) allowed one unearned run, struck out seven and walked one, working around three errors and several other defensive lapses.

His bid for his second career no-hitter ended when Orlando Cabrera drove a hard one-hopper off Scott Rolen's glove and into left field for a single leading off the sixth.

"It happens," said Burnett, who has a career-high 208 strikeouts this season and leads the American League. "I wasn't thinking about it. You see no hits up there, but you've got a long way to go even if it's the sixth inning."

Should the hit have been ruled an error?

"That ball was hit pretty hard," Toronto manager Cito Gaston said. "Maybe on turf, Rolen probably catches that ball, but it was hit pretty hard. I would say it's a hit."

B.J. Ryan walked Konerko and Ken Griffey Jr. leading off the ninth but escaped with his 28th save in 32 chances. He struck out Alexei Ramirez and Nick Swisher before Juan Uribe grounded out.

Chicago scored in the sixth after Cabrera's single when shortstop John McDonald booted Jermaine Dye's grounder, Burnett threw a wild pitch and Jim Thome hit a sacrifice fly that drove in A.J. Pierzynski.

Vazquez allowed two runs and five hits in six innings.

Game notes
Ramirez was selected AL rookie of the month after batting .308 with six homers and 22 RBIs. ... Guillen reiterated he expects LF Carlos Quentin to miss the rest of the regular season after surgery for his broken right wrist on Monday. "It's going to take awhile," Guillen said. "Hopefully, if we make the playoffs, we can count on him in the playoffs. Right now, to get to the playoffs, I don't think he can help out." ... Vazquez's mother-in-law fainted during the game. The right-hander was not available for comment afterward.