CHICAGO (AP) -- Paul Konerko was on his knees in the dirt, still
dizzy from being hit in the head by Kerry Wood's curveball. But
when Chicago White Sox manager Jerry Manuel asked if he wanted to stay in
the game, it wasn't even a question.
AP Photo/Charles Bennett
Cubs catcher Joe Girardi, left, checks the White Sox's Paul Konerko after Konerko was hit in the head during the fourth inning.
Good thing. Konerko homered twice after getting plunked, and the White Sox
rallied from an 8-0 deficit Friday to beat the crosstown rival Chicago Cubs
13-9 in front of the largest regular-season crowd at new Comiskey
Park. "I've been hit harder than that in the hands,'' said Konerko,
who had a goose egg on the left side of his head after the game.
"You know yourself that you're fine. I wasn't really adamant. It
was just, 'I'm not coming out of the game. I'm fine.''' He went 4-for-4, his second straight four-hit game, and finished
with four RBI and four runs scored. It was the fifth multihomer
game of his career, but the fourth since June 11. Over the last 17 games, he's hitting .439 with 12 homers and 21
RBI. "Paul's been unbelievable,'' Royce Clayton said. "He's come up
with some huge hits lately, and he came up with two pretty big ones
today.'' It was the Cubs' biggest blown lead in a loss since April 17,
1976, when they led the Philadelphia Phillies 12-1 after three
innings at Wrigley Field. Mike Schmidt hit four homers in that
game, as the Phillies rallied to beat the Cubs 18-16 in 10 innings. Corey Patterson homered and tied his career high with four RBI
for the Cubs, whose four-game losing streak is their longest since
dropping nine straight in May. "No excuses for days like this,'' said Wood, who is 0-3 against
the White Sox in five starts. "The eight runs should relax a
starting pitcher. But I handed it right back to them.'' Matt Ginter (1-0) relieved an ineffective Dan Wright in the
third inning and held the Cubs hitless for the next 3 1/3, striking
out three and walking two. Joe Borowski (2-4) gave up two runs and two hits in 2/3 of an
inning. Wood allowed six runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings and
walked five. He has a 13.50 ERA in two starts against the White Sox
this year. "I flat out (stunk),'' Wood said. "I don't know why. If I did,
it wouldn't have happened. It's not confidence -- I know what kind
of stuff I have.'' The White Sox, playing in front of a crowd of 46,027, looked
lackadaisical early. But once Wood hit Konerko in the fourth
inning, it was a new game. Wood hit Konerko near the bottom of his helmet, just above his
neck. Konerko dropped to his knees, staying on the ground as
manager Jerry Manuel and White Sox trainers ran out to check on
him. "I was dizzy. I couldn't focus in for about 30 seconds,''
Konerko said. "But it was passing with every second.'' He got up after a few minutes, tossed his bat aside and trotted
to first base. Two batters later, Carlos Lee ended Wood's shutout
with an RBI single. The White Sox didn't retaliate against the Cubs, getting revenge
with their bats instead. Konerko led the way, hitting a two-run
homer in the fifth that cut the Cubs' lead to 8-4. Wood walked Lee to start the sixth inning, and Clayton singled.
Jeff Fassero relieved, promptly walking Kenny Lofton and then
giving up an RBI single to Ray Durham. Borowski relieved, but he wasn't much better. Frank Thomas hit a
sacrifice fly, and Ordonez followed with a two-run single to
shallow right that tied the game at 8. As Durham crossed the plate,
he exchanged spirited hand slaps with his teammates. And the White Sox weren't done yet. Konerko homered into the
left-field bullpen on a 1-1 pitch, a two-run shot that gave them a
10-8 lead. "He's the type of guy that this type of stage, you're not going
to deprive him,'' Manuel said. "It was a big day for him.'' The Cubs took an early lead thanks to some shoddy White Sox
defense. With Moises Alou at first and one out in the second,
Roosevelt Brown hit a grounder to short that should have been the
start of an inning-ending double play. But Clayton, one of the AL's better defensive shortstops,
bobbled the pickup. Two batters later, Bill Mueller hit a two-run
double. Joe Girardi added an RBI single, and Patterson hit a
three-run homer to give the Cubs a 6-0 lead. "We could have been out of that inning, but the ball jumped up
on me,'' Clayton said. "I tried to fight to get in front of it,
but the ball jumped up.'' Patterson also had an RBI single in the third that gave the Cubs
an 8-0 lead. But the White Sox refused to believe they were out of
"It reached a point where you just get sick of being average,''
Konerko said. "For a year and a half now, we've been mediocre.
Guys just got tired of it.''
Wood has hit 10 batters this year, most in the NL. ... In
29 1/3 career innings against the White Sox, Wood has allowed 29
walks. ... The Cubs' six runs in the second tied their season-high
for a single inning. ... Chicago Bulls F Jalen Rose and first-round
pick Jay Williams threw out pitches before the game.