Toronto has been a house of horrors for the Chicago White Sox for more than six seasons.
With their victory Wednesday, the White Sox won consecutive games against the Toronto Blue Jays on the road for the first time since 2006.
Even better, they did it without their captain, Paul Konerko, and seem to have found a way to win any given night.
The loss of Konerko, 36, to the seven-day disabled list due to a mild concussion could have proved disastrous. Instead, manager Robin Ventura has shuffled the lineup a couple of times and the team has responded.
In particular, newly recalled outfielder Dewayne Wise has been tremendous since rejoining the team. Wise now has six RBI in just three games with the team and is going to be hard to send to the bench when Konerko returns.
Adam Dunn has also responded to the challenge. Each of his three home runs against the Blue Jays, including Wednesday’s three-run bomb to the Rogers Centre suites, has either tied the game or given the Sox the lead.
Clutch hitting at its finest from both players, but they are not alone.
Along with the performances of Wise and Dunn in Toronto and the impending return of Konerko, several other factors bode well for the White Sox as August moves into September. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski continues to produce, center fielder Alejandro De Aza is re-emerging as a legitimate leadoff hitter, the pitching staff is tied for the American League lead with 67 quality starts and leads the AL Central with a 3.95 team ERA and the bullpen (with the exception of Leyson Septimo and to an extent Matt Thornton) is pitching wonderfully.
The way this team has played heading into the series finale Thursday, all signs are pointing to a continued run of excellence for the White Sox.
Konerko update: There is more positive news regarding Paul Konerko. The Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday evening that he has started taking batting practice and is on track to come off the DL Friday night against the Kansas City Royals.
That timetable is consistent with what the Sox were hoping for when he was placed on the seven-day DL.
Konerko will not play in the field when he returns. The Tribune’s Dave van Dyck quoted Ventura saying that Konerko would likely DH “for at least the first game” when he returns.