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White Sox get to Rivera, beat Yanks in 11 innings

CHICAGO (AP) -- Paul Konerko knew that if Mariano Rivera threw
his cutter on the inside of the plate, his at-bat probably would be
over.

If Ozzie Guillen thinks the White Sox are in good shape, shouldn't that be enough for Chicago's fans?

Gene Wojciechowski checked in on the defending champs at U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday. To read his column, click here.

That's why he decided to concentrate on the outer half of the plate.

Konerko tied the game with a leadoff homer in the ninth inning,
and Jermaine Dye singled home the winning run against Scott Proctor
in the 11th to lead the Chicago White Sox over the New York Yankees
6-5 Monday night.

"That's a great moment right there, to hit a homer off a Hall
of Famer to tie up a game," Konerko said. "We needed that game, a
big win for us. Hopefully that sparks us and gets us going."

Konerko's opposite-field homer made it 5-all and gave Rivera
just his third blown save in 31 chances this season.

"It got too much of the plate," Rivera said after surrendering
just his second homer of the season. "It was going away, and
didn't get there. If you leave the ball over the plate, those
things are going to happen."

Konerko was realistic about his chances, and that's why he
sectioned off the plate in his field of vision.

"One pitch or two he threw in, and I chased it and took bad
swings. So I just kind of looked away and said I'm going to look in
this one area, and if he throws there I can maybe at least put it
in play," Konerko said. "Really if he throws anything else, I'm
probably done. ... When you got two strikes, you just say, `Don't
strike out, and make him earn it."

Tadahito Iguchi singled leading off the 11th, a one-hop liner
that was knocked down by second baseman Robinson Cano, whose throw
to first was wide. Jim Thome walked off Proctor (4-3) and, after
Konerko flied out, Dye lined a single to center. Iguchi scored as
Johnny Damon's throw didn't even reach the infield grass on the
fly.

"I don't even think about it. I just try to stick with my game
plan and not worry about who is out on the bases," Dye said.
"Just try to hit it hard somewhere and I've been finding holes."

Bobby Jenks (3-3) pitched 2 2-3 innings, striking out four. He
fanned Damon with a runner at third in the ninth, struck out Bernie
Williams with a man at second in the 10th and got Melky Cabrera to
ground out with a man at second in the 11th.

New York went ahead in the eighth when Jason Giambi was hit with
a bases-loaded pitch from Neal Cotts. Giambi left in the 10th with
a bruised elbow, and X-rays were negative.

Alex Rodriguez and Craig Wilson homered for the Yankees, who
lost for just the third time in 13 games and remained two games
ahead of second-place Boston in the AL East.

The White Sox, just 9-14 since the All-Star break, lead the AL
wild card by one-half game.

"We know we kind of scuffled the last month, but no one is
shying away and we're not playing scared," Konerko said. "We've
been beaten a lot in the last month and that's frustrating, but
we're going about it in the right way."

With the score 4-all in the eighth, Matt Thornton gave up an
infield single to Derek Jeter and walked Bobby Abreu, Mike
MacDougal relieved, and Rodriguez singled sharply to load the
bases. Cotts came in and hit Giambi in the right arm with his third
pitch.

Chien-Ming Wang, who entered with a five-game winning streak,
gave up four runs and seven hits in five innings.

Freddy Garcia, 0-3 in seven starts since June 28, allowed four
runs -- three earned -- and six hits in seven innings.

Damon reached leading off when Chicago center fielder Rob
Mackowiak dropped his sinking liner for an error. Damon stole
second and scored on Abreu's RBI single. Wilson hit his first AL
homer, a two-out shot in the second.

Chicago ended Wang's 19-inning scoreless streak when Konerko and
Dye opened the second with back-to-back doubles. After A.J.
Pierzynski walked, Joe Crede singled to load the bases. Mackowiak
hit into a 1-2-3 double play, but Alex Cintron delivered two-run
single on a 3-2 pitch.

Rodriguez, in an 0-for-12 slide, hit his 23rd homer after
Abreu's two-out single in the third, putting the Yankees up 4-3.
Crede tied it for Chicago with his 24th homer of the season in the
fourth, and the White Sox didn't get another hit until Konerko
homered.

Game notes
Rivera allowed a game-winning homer to Toronto's Vernon
Wells on July 20. ... Cano (hamstring) was activated from the DL
before the game when Miguel Cairo was put on (also hamstring). Cano
showed his value right away, taking a throw from Abreu and making a
perfect relay to nail Scott Podsednik at third as he tried stretch
his leadoff double. ... Rodriguez's homer was the 452nd, tying him
for 31st place with Carl Yastrzemski. ... Crede has 75 RBI, tying
his career high, set in 2003. ... Rodriguez reached base five
times.