Mackowiak drives in go-ahead runs in ChiSox win

Hero: Mackowiak had the big hit but Paul Konerko had three hits and Darin Erstad drove in three.

Unsung hero: Bobby Jenks issued a walk and gave up a single in the ninth but got three straight outs for his 14th save.

Quotable: "If you are doing really bad, it doesn't matter. It's all about tomorrow and that's what we're looking at." -- Konerko

-- ESPN.com news services

White Sox 8, Athletics 5

CHICAGO (AP) -- Paul Konerko is trying to stay optimistic about the slow start he and the Chicago White Sox are having at the plate.

They all looked pretty good Monday night.

Konerko had three hits and scored three runs, and Rob Mackowiak hit a go-ahead two-run single in the sixth inning as Chicago defeated the Oakland Athletics 8-5. Darin Erstad added three of Chicago's season-high 14 hits and drove in three runs.

"I really have had a lot of good at-bats a lot of times this year, just not finishing off with a hit and that's the hard part," said Konerko, who came in batting .201. "The team is still grinding and we're right in the middle of the season. I have always said we'll talk about it in November -- the final product, the numbers in all that."

Chicago entered the game last in the American League with a .226 batting average and 160 runs scored, but the White Sox have scored 18 runs on 26 hits in the last two games.

"[If] you're doing really great right now, it doesn't matter," Konerko said. "If you are doing really bad, it doesn't matter. It's all about tomorrow and that's what we're looking at."

Jose Contreras (4-4) allowed three runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings, and struck out a season-high eight and walked one. Bobby Jenks pitched out of trouble in the ninth for his 14th save.

After Jenks walked Jack Cust and allowed a single to Eric Chavez, he struck out Bobby Crosby, got Marco Scutaro to pop out to shortstop and Mark Ellis to line out to right to end it.

The A's also had a chance to score in the seventh when they had the bases loaded, but reliever Matt Thornton got Chavez to ground out with the bases loaded.

Nick Swisher went 3-for-5 and drove in all five runs for Oakland, which fell to .500 (22-22) on the season.

"You have to tip your cap to Contreras," Swisher said. "He was handling pretty much everybody. Then we started swinging the bats a little bit earlier in the count and started getting some runs."

With the game tied at 3 in the sixth, Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski hit back-to-back leadoff singles off Joe Blanton (4-2) and advanced to second and third on Pablo Ozuna's bunt. Mackowiak followed with a two-run single to left to make it 5-3.

Alex Cintron chased Blanton with a single to put runners on first and third, and Erstad followed with an RBI single off Jay Marshall.

"I missed a lot of spots tonight," Blanton said. "I got away with it for a couple of innings and with a good hitting team you're not going to keep getting away with it. They made me pay there in the sixth with a couple singles and then a big hit with a couple guys on."

Blanton allowed six runs -- four earned -- and eight hits, struck out four and walked two.

White Sox right fielder Jermaine Dye was ejected for arguing two called strikes in the fifth inning.

Dye became upset with plate umpire Chris Guccione after taking a strike from Blanton. After taking a called third strike, Dye dropped his bat at the plate in disgust and continued to argue with Guccione, who tossed him after a short argument. Dye was 1-for-3 with a run scored before being replaced by Luis Terrero.

Dye led off the second with a double and advanced to third on Konerko's single. Pierzynski followed with a weak bouncer to first baseman Dan Johnson, who wasn't able to field it cleanly as Dye, running on contact, scored and Pierzynski reached safely on the error.

"The middle of the lineup is starting to pick up a little bit," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "The hits come in bunches and I still believe we're going to be a good-hitting ballclub."

With two outs and the bases loaded, Erstad hit a two-run single to center giving the White Sox a 3-0 lead.

The A's hit three consecutive single off Contreras in the fifth inning and Swisher cleared the bases with a double to tie it at three.

Chicago scored twice in the seventh on Pierzynski's sacrifice fly and Cintron's RBI single.

Swisher cut Chicago's lead in the eighth with a two-run single off Boone Logan.

Game notes
White Sox SS Juan Uribe missed the game to be with his ill mother. ... A's RHP Colby Lewis will be called up from Triple-A Sacramento before Tuesday's game against the White Sox and will receive the start. ... Oakland OF Milton Bradley missed his seventh consecutive game with a sore hamstring. ... 3B Joe Crede missed the game with a sore back. ... Oakland OF Travis Buck left in the third inning with soreness in his right elbow.