White Sox 4, Blue Jays 2


CHICAGO (AP) – Paul Konerko homered twice off A.J. Burnett to spoil the right-hander’s Toronto debut, giving the Chicago White Sox a 4-2 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday.

Konerko hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the fifth – his second of the game, fourth of the season and third in two games.

Burnett (0-1), who signed a five-year, $55 million contract with Toronto after spending seven seasons with the Marlins, gave up seven hits and four runs in six innings while walking one and striking out five. He started the season on the disabled list after scar tissue broke off in his elbow during spring training, delaying his first start with his new team.

He pitched well, but Mark Buehrle was a bit better on a cool and sunny 57-degree day.

Buehrle (2-0) had a shaky first inning when he gave up a leadoff infield single to Reed Johnson and then a two-run homer to Alex Rios. After Vernon Wells reached on another infield hit to extend his hitting streak this season to all 11 games, Buehrle settled down and got the next three hitters, ending his 25-pitch inning.

Burnett, who threw 30 of his 95 pitches in the first inning, issued a two-out walk to Jim Thome in the opening inning before Konerko followed with a two-run shot to left to tie it up.

After Chicago pitchers yielded 39 hits and 22 runs in the previous two games, Buehrle gave the White Sox what they needed. In the sixth after Rios walked and Wells had another single, he escaped by starting a double play on Troy Glaus’ comebacker and getting Bengie Molina on a pop fly.

Buehrle pitched eight innings, giving up five hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Bobby Jenks came on in the ninth and notched his fourth save after a nice play by second baseman Tadahito Iguchi.

After Glaus hit a one-out single, Iguchi raced in to field Molina’s slow hopper over the mound and as he was falling down, got off the throw to first for the out. Shea Hillenbrand then grounded out to end the game.

Notes: Jim Thome has reached base and scored in all 11 of the White Sox’s games this season. … Gregg Zaun’s three doubles Friday night were a career best and came on his 35th birthday. … Buehrle made his 200th career appearance and 175th start. … It was Konerko’s 14th career two-homer game. … Wells had three more hits for the Blue Jays, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.

AP-ES-04-15-06 1620EDT