White Sox beat Cubs 8-3 for 4th straight win
CHICAGO (AP) Paul Konerko is a spot starter and pinch hitter in his 18th and final major league season, and he is determined to succeed in his new role.
He looked very comfortable Wednesday night.
Konerko had a big three-run double and Gordon Beckham homered for the second straight game, leading the Chicago White Sox to an 8-3 victory over the sliding Chicago Cubs.
''It's a good attack. I mean we feel like one through nine we can score runs at any moment,'' Konerko said.
Jose Abreu collected three more hits as the White Sox roughed up Travis Wood on their way to their fourth straight win, extending their season-best streak. The rookie slugger doubled twice to run his major league-best total to 24 extra-base hits.
The White Sox also got a nice game from shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who singled in a run in the first and made a great over-the-shoulder catch to rob Welington Castillo of a hit in the ninth. Ramirez then threw to first to double off Starlin Castro for the second out.
''Just an awesome play,'' said Beckham, who was standing near second when Ramirez grabbed the ball in short center field. ''Just fun to watch.''
The last-place Cubs dropped their fourth consecutive game. Frustrated rookie manager Rick Renteria was ejected for arguing with home plate umpire Tom Woodring after he pulled Wood (2-4) with no outs in the fifth.
Mike Olt hit his fifth homer for the Cubs, who have managed just five runs and 12 hits in the first three games of the city series against the White Sox. Luis Valbuena and Emilio Bonifacio each had a run-scoring double.
''I think we still have to put ourselves back in the situation where we continue to get better at grinding out at-bats,'' Renteria said.
''Putting balls in play with some impact in hitters' counts, which are things that we talk about. Things that are being addressed on a daily basis.''
Bonifacio's sharp grounder off the glove of diving third baseman Marcus Semien got the Cubs within 4-3 in the fifth and put runners on second and third with one out. But John Danks (3-2) limited the damage by striking out Junior Lake and Anthony Rizzo to end the inning.
The White Sox then put the game away in the bottom half. The first three batters reached before Konerko hit a rope into the left-field corner for his second double, chasing Wood and giving him five RBIs in limited action in his final season.
Konerko advanced on a groundout and scored on Semien's single, giving the White Sox an 8-3 lead. Konerko doubled again in the seventh in his seventh start of the season.
''It's the same name on the back and all that, but nothing this year is connected to the past,'' said Konerko, a .300 hitter in 75 career games against the Cubs. ''This is a new thing and I'm trying to be good at it. It's taking some practice and I think I'm getting better at it.''
Wood allowed a season-high eight runs and matched a career high by issuing five walks in his shortest outing of the year. The left-hander, who made the All-Star team last season, was 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two previous starts against the White Sox.
''I don't like walking anybody let alone as many as I did,'' Wood said. ''I don't even know how many I had, but I know it wasn't good.''
Danks had a season-high eight strikeouts in six innings. The lefty gave up three runs and four hits while stopping a two-game losing streak.
Danks got a lift in the fourth when Beckham drove a 1-0 pitch from Wood over the wall in center for a three-run shot, making it 4-1. Beckham had four hits in a 5-1 victory over the Cubs on Tuesday night, including a tiebreaking solo homer with two out in the eighth.
NOTES: White Sox 3B Conor Gillaspie was activated from the 15-day disabled list. He had been sidelined with a bruised left hand. To make room on the roster, OF Jordan Danks was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte. ... The Cubs placed RH reliever Pedro Strop on the 15-day disabled list with a moderate left groin strain. LHP Zac Rosscup was promoted from Triple-A Iowa for his third stint of the season with the major league club. ... Iowa Cubs pitcher Chris Rusin threw a no-hitter in a 3-0 victory over New Orleans. The 27-year-old left-hander struck out three and walked two while throwing 118 pitches. ... Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta (0-0, 0.00 ERA) takes on White Sox RHP Scott Carroll (1-1, 0.68 ERA) in the series finale on Thursday night.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap