Paul Konerko eclipses Thomas' White Sox total-base record

Paul Konerko eclipses Thomas' White Sox total-base record
April 23, 2014, 10:30 pm
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DETROIT -- Paul Konerko found some feel at the plate and set a new franchise record on Wednesday night.

The veteran slugger went 3-for-4 with a double in Wednesday’s 6-4 White Sox win over the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. His four total bases moved him past 2014 Hall of Fame inductee Frank Thomas for the all-time lead in franchise history with 3,950.

Konerko, who is playing in his final season, knew he was closing in on Thomas’ mark, but didn’t find out until after the game he eclipsed his former teammate.

“Any time you get, you hear franchise lead or something like that, that’s cool,” Konerko said. “I mean you know again it’s always something you enjoy. I think I’ll look back and enjoy it more seven months from now and beyond. But it’s, I think it shows I got out there and played and you got to do well. But more than anything you have to be on the field to do it. I always took pride in that.”

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Konerko’s primary role in 2014 by design has been that of a pinch hitter who gets an occasional start. But with the White Sox down big on Tuesday, manager Robin Ventura inserted Konerko into the lineup for two late at-bats just to give him a chance to sharpen up before a rare start Wednesday.

In his second at-bat of Tuesday’s game, Konerko singled to snap a 17 at-bat hitless stretch that extended back to a pinch-hit single on Opening Day. Konerko said Tuesday’s appearance helped as he singled in the first inning of Detroit starter Drew Smyly. After popping out in the fourth inning, Konerko singled off reliever Evan Reed to start a four-run seventh-inning rally. An inning later, Konerko doubled off Justin Miller to move past Thomas.

“When you pinch hit, it’s a different animal than if you get four at-bats,” Ventura said. “He grounded out and then all of a sudden you start to see the swing get a little better as far as the ball jumping off his bat. He just had a better feel tonight.”