Paul Konerko gets rare start against right-hander

Paul Konerko gets rare start against right-hander
August 3, 2014, 12:15 pm
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The plan coming into the season wasn't for Paul Konerko to start against right-handers, but on Sunday, that's exactly what he'll do.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura gave Adam Dunn the day off and inserted Konerko at first base for Sunday's series finale against Minnesota, even with the Twins throwing right-hander Kyle Gibson. Konerko's been hitting well lately — he has a .349/.388/.540 slash line in 67 plate appearances since June 1 — while Dunn went 0-4 with two strikeouts Saturday night.

"I think Dunner, just the way he's swinging, just give him a break from being in there," Ventura said. "Paulie's swinging it pretty good and you can get (Jose) Abreu off the field, off his feet and let him DH for a day. Just a different look."

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While Ventura said he may look to get Konerko more at-bats against right-handers who are a little tougher on lefties, Gibson isn't one of those pitchers. Lefties have crushed the Mizzou alum in his career, posting a .301/.361/.414 slash line compared to a .240/.294/.367 line for righties.

By no means has Dunn been bad in the last two months — he hit home runs in back-to-back games to end July and has a .227/.337/.453 line since the start of June. Ventura said he's liked the at-bats Dunn has had recently, but could wind up giving Konerko a little more playing time down the stretch if he keeps swinging the bat well.

"To me this is one of those spots to get Paulie a little shot in a day game, play a little first base," Ventura said.