Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko has missed eight games since suffering a concussion August 7. Thanks to a big team effort, Konerko could make his return with his club in better shape than when he hit the DL.
Konerko looks to be on schedule for a return on Friday. It appears that he will serve as Chicago's designated hitter for this weekend's series in Kansas City. The White Sox will begin play with the Royals with a 2.5-game advantage on Detroit in the AL Central.
Winning five of the eight games, including three of four in Toronto, came via several players stepping to the forefront. With Robin Ventura shuffling his lineup in the absence of Konerko, more than one man turned lemons into lemonade.
Dewayne Wise homered in his second straight game Thursday, as the White Sox defeated Toronto 7-2 in the series finale. Wise came in handy, allowing Dyan Viciedo to take a few nights off from his outfield duties.
Wise has driven in seven runs since joining the team a few days ago. Viciedo also slammed his second homer in as many days Thursday.
Joining the host of White Sox going yard in the Toronto series was Alex Rios, batting in the cleanup spot, and Tyler Flowers, who crushed one to left in the top of the fifth.
Being north of the border woke up Adam Dunn's power. Playing first base for Konerko, Dunn had three home runs, giving him 34 on the season as well as 399 in his career.
Despite being dependent on the long ball, Chicago was able to generate offense while Konerko has been missing. In these eight games, they plated four or more runs five times.
The White Sox had a solid run through the rotation this week. All five hurlers tossed quality starts, including Gavin Floyd and Francisco Liriano, who picked up the win on Thursday with 6.1 innings of three-hit ball.
Even the recently demoted Phil Humber has pitched in and made a difference. Since moving into the long-relief role, Humber has finished up three games and taken over for Liriano when he struggled against Oakland in his previous start. Humber has thrown six innings and given up a single run in his recent relief outings.
The White Sox were in need of a team effort while Konerko's health improved. They got just that, padding their lead over the Tigers in the process.