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White Sox notebook, 8/5

August 5, 2011

Ozzie hoping to see Thome blast No. 600

By Jordan Schelling / MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — If it were up to White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, he’d get to see Jim Thome hit his 600th career home run this weekend, but in a Chicago victory at Target Field.

“To be honest with you, I hope when he hits it, it’s not to win the game, but I’d like to watch it,” Guillen said. “I don’t want that to win the game, but I don’t mind watching that.”

Guillen managed Thome when the Twins slugger was with the White Sox from 2006-09. During that time, Thome blasted his 500th career home run, which delivered a walk-off victory over the Angels.

Thome entered Friday’s game sitting just two home runs shy of becoming the eighth player in Major League history to reach the 600-home run mark. He also carried a nine-game hitting streak into the weekend, a stretch during which Thome hit two home runs and batted .424 with four doubles and seven RBIs. Thome was out of the starting lineup on Friday.

“Maybe my team wouldn’t say the same … they don’t want to give up the home run, but they would like to watch that because they love that guy here,” Guillen said. “He’s one guy I can say, whoever was on this ballclub when he was here, they will say the same stuff to you.

“If he hits it and we win, I’d like to see that.”

Walks not part of White Sox offense vs. Yanks

MINNEAPOLIS — It had been more than 40 years since the White Sox went four straight games without picking up a walk on offense until they did so this week while being swept by the Yankees in a four-game series.

The White Sox last went four games without a walk from Aug. 5-8, 1968. Since 1919, the club has never gone five straight games without a walk. Paul Konerko walked in the first inning of Friday’s game against the Twins to end the streak.

While he knows his team can be aggressive, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was surprised to learn that his team did not walk once against the Yankees. Still, he could understand how that might happen in a four-game sweep by New York.

Between the Yankees’ pitching and his team’s desire to get something going offensively to stop a losing streak, the White Sox did not take a single free pass in the series.

“Too aggressive, or a lot of strikes?” Guillen said. “When you throw strikes, you win four games. That’s exactly what it is, I always say that.”

Ozzie impressed with Humber despite loss

MINNEAPOLIS — Things have not gone Philip Humber’s way on the mound since the beginning of July, but White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen liked what he saw from him Thursday against the Yankees.

“He threw the ball great yesterday, very good,” Guillen said. “Especially with the way those guys were hitting.”

Over his last four starts, Humber has gone 0-4 with a 7.97 ERA, allowing 18 runs on 29 hits over 20 1/3 innings. Opponents are batting .341 against Humber, and have struck out just 17 times in that span.

The best of those four outings was his last, when Humber went 6 1/3 innings with four runs allowed on five hits as the White Sox lost, 7-2, to the Yankees.

And while his overall numbers for the season are still impressive, at 124 innings, Humber is reaching the point at which the White Sox will have to start paying attention to his workload.

Over the last five years, Humber has totaled just 51 1/3 innings in the Majors, while tossing no more than 139 innings during a season in the Minors.

“We’re aware [that] this guy has never thrown 140 innings in the past,” Guillen said. “Minor League innings … that’s nothing. Minor League innings compared to big league innings, I think it’s doubled, because here you’ve got to grind it out every pitch.”

Konerko in lineup, but mobility limited

MINNEAPOLIS — Since being hit by a pitch on his left calf Sunday, mobility has been an issue for Paul Konerko, who returned to the lineup Thursday after missing three games.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen admitted he struggled with putting him in the lineup, knowing how much discomfort Konerko was dealing with.

“Konerko is a brave man,” Guillen said. “This guy is very sore, very sore. I’m just happy to have him in the lineup, because if you see him walk around — when he got the first ground ball [Thursday], I felt guilty, because I think good managers don’t play players like that.”

Konerko was in the lineup again Friday as the designated hitter, and could remain at DH through the weekend.

“I was guilty about seeing [Konerko] running the bases, he just barely can push his foot down,” Guillen said. “He said he’s fine. Well, if he said he’s fine, he’s playing.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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