PHOENIX -- Not fully recovered from the kidney stone he passed earlier in the day, Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was still feeling woozy through the first few innings.
As Philip Humber kept throwing strikes and the rest of the White Sox started bashing balls all over the field, Guillen's mind and body cleared.With a series against the crosstown rival Cubs coming up, it was a good ending to what started out as a rough day.
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Humber pitched effectively into the eighth inning, Paul Konerko homered for the third straight game and A.J. Pierzynski hit a three-run double, lifting the Chicago White Sox to an 8-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks Sunday in their last game before facing the Cubs."When the games start against the Cubs, it's a different ball game," Guillen said. "Chicago's looking for this game and obviously the rivalry is there. You've got to step it up a notch because that's as close as you come to the playoffs."Konerko hit a solo homer to match Harold Baines for 56th on the career list with 384, Alex Rios added a solo shot off Josh Collmenter (4-3) and Alexei Ramirez drove in two on a pair of groundouts. Pierzynski capped a five-run eighth inning with his bases-clearing double, sending Humber (7-3) to his fourth straight win.Chicago took two of three in the desert to win its first series over Arizona in three tries, a good way to head into a three-game series against the Cubs that starts Monday on Chicago's South Side."We had a lot of guys who contributed today," said Humber, 5-0 with a 2.81 ERA in his past eight starts. "It's good getting out of here with a win in the series against a good team."The White Sox had a rough 24 hours physically before Sunday's series finale.Left-hander John Danks took a liner off the head during his start on Saturday, but stayed in the game and checked out OK after a CT scan. He's expected to make his next start, most likely next Saturday with Jake Peavy expected rejoin the rotation.Guillen also spent some time with medical personnel Sunday morning, rushing to the hospital to pass a kidney stone. Guillen, who also passed a stone in 2004, was back in the dugout about two hours before first pitch.Humber certainly didn't have any problems.The right-hander had the Diamondbacks baffled most of the day, staying out of trouble until allowing two runs in the eighth inning on Ryan Roberts' RBI double and Justin Upton's third hit, a run-scoring single to left.Humber lasted 7 2/3 innings, giving up two runs and seven hits to become the first White Sox pitcher to go at least seven innings in six straight starts since Jon Garland did it seven straight in 2007."His was so efficient with his pitches early," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "He had a good sinker, a very good slider, good breaking ball, three change-ups. He is on a roll."So was Collmenter until recently.After confusing opponents with his exaggerated over-the-top motion his first six starts, the right-hander hit his first big bump in his previous start, giving up five runs -- one less than the previous 13 appearances combined -- in five innings of a 6-5 loss to San Francisco.He was sharp early against the White Sox, holding them without a hit until Juan Pierre slapped a single to left to lead off the fourth inning and later scored on a groundout by Ramirez.Konerko added another run with a homer in the seventh inning, lining his 19th and ninth in 18 games over the wall in left. Rios made it 3-0 two batters later with his sixth homer on an 0-2 pitch.Collmenter allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings to lose consecutive starts after a 4-1 start to his rookie season."I had good command, back to my normal stuff," Collmenter said. "Other than the seventh inning, everything went well. In the seventh, a couple of bad pitches."Chicago put it out of reach in the eighth against Esmerling Vasquez and Joe Paterson, the capper Pierzynski's three-run double that made it 8-0.
John Green, whose 9-year-old daughter was killed in the Tucson shootings in January, attended the game with his son, Dallas. Christina-Taylor Green was among the five people killed in the shooting that also wounded 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. John Green is a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the son of former big-league manager Dallas Green. ... Muhammad Ali, who lives in the Phoenix area, also attended the game. ... Chicago's Adam Dunn made his first start in right field since July 30, 2009, with Washington.