for this game

Konerko, ChiSox try to stay hot in finale with Cubs

Jun 22, 2011 - 2:50 PM (Sports Network) - Opposing clubs may want to start pitching around Chicago White Sox slugger Paul Konerko. The first baseman became the sixth White Sox player to homer in five straight games on Tuesday and looks for more tonight in the finale of a three-game interleague series versus the crosstown rival Chicago Cubs.

Konerko matched the franchise mark of going deep in five straight games, last done by Carlos Lee in 2003, during Tuesday's 3-2 win in the second installment of this series from U.S. Cellular Field. Konerko went 2-for-3 at the plate and is batting .446 with 11 homers, 17 runs scored, 22 RBI and 33 hits in his last 20 games.

"Sometimes it just lines up where you feel good, you get good pitches, the weather is good for it and fields are good for it," said Konerko, who has clubbed 10 homers in June. "And you're happy to have those streaks, but home runs, RBI's, doubles, all that power stuff comes in bunches anyway, so I don't really read too much into it."

Konerko is one of four players with 21 homers this season, joining Toronto's Jose Bautista and both Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira of the Yankees. He owns 386 career home runs and is now three shy from tying Reds legend Johnny Bench for 54th place on the all-time list.

Brent Morel's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning put the Pale Hose up for good on Tuesday, while Juan Pierre had the other RBI for Chicago, which is 4 1/2 games behind Cleveland for the AL Central lead and 3 1/2 back of second-place Detroit.

Mark Buehrle started for the White Sox last night and did not record a decision after he held the Cubs to two runs through 5 1/3 innings. Jesse Crain got the win with 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief and Sergio Santos recorded his 13th save after 1 1/3 innings of work.

The White Sox, who have won three of four and 12 of their last 20 games, will also host Washington on this six-game homestand and are 12-6 in their past 18 home games after going 5-12 in the first 17. They have now won 16 straight interleague series.

Jake Peavy is expected to be activated off of the disabled list in time to take the mound for the White Sox tonight. He landed on the DL for the second time this season with a strained right groin earlier in the month and was last in action during a 7-3 loss versus the Tigers on June 5, when he lasted only four innings and allowed six runs and three hits.

Peavy underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason and is 2-1 with a 4.66 ERA in five 2011 starts. He made one rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte in preparation for tonight's matchup, striking out nine batters in six innings.

"I'm excited. Obviously pitching in this series is always fun, but getting back out there for me is the most important thing," Peavy said on the club's site. "I hate to go on the DL, but you're going to do what you're told to do. I had a nice effort down [in Charlotte] and I look forward to [Wednesday] night to hopefully have a chance to win the series."

The right-hander and 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner with San Diego was 2-0 in his first four starts -- all White Sox wins -- and will make his 11th career start against the Cubs. Peavy is 5-2 with a 2.40 ERA in his first 10 starts against tonight's opponent.

The Cubs had won two straight and four of five games before dropping three of their last four contests, including last night's tough loss. Jeff Samardzija was dealt the loss for allowing the go-ahead run on Morel's sacrifice fly, while starter Matt Garza was reached for two runs in five innings for the no- decision before a rain delay cut his outing short.

"I feel like I've been battling the rain all year," said Garza. "At least I know if we get to October and we have rain, I'll be ready for it."

Carlos Pena homered and Aramis Ramirez drove in a run for the Cubs, who got a pair of hits from Starlin Castro. The young shortstop now has 97 hits on the season and owns eight RBI in his last 10 games. He is hitting 378 over his last 16 contests.

After going 9-1 against the White Sox from July 2, 2006-June 22, 2008, the Cubs have gone 5-12 in their last 17 contests against the South Siders.

The Cubs will also visit Kansas City for three games on this trek.

Doug Davis hopes to build off of his first victory of the season when he toes the rubber for the Cubs tonight. Davis started his first season with the Cubs with five straight losses and was 0-5 with a 5.90 ERA in his initial six starts before defeating the New York Yankees on Friday.

Davis held the Bronx Bombers to a run and three hits over 7 1/3 innings with four strikeouts and three walks. The win also lowered his ERA from 5.90 to 4.95.

The lefty is winless (0-2) in three road tilts this season and 1-3 with a 5.00 ERA in six career games (5 starts) against the White Sox.

The Cubs haven't prevailed in a series against the White Sox since sweeping a three-game set from June 20-22 of the 2008 campaign. They have lost 12 of the past 17 meetings in this matchup.