The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

March 25, 2014

Konerko knocks first homer in victory

PEORIA, Ariz. — Paul Konerko and Marcus Semien homered for the Chicago White Sox, who overcame Robinson Cano’s four RBIs in a 7-6 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday.

Semien hit a three-run drive as part of a five-run second inning. Konerko added a two-run shot to back Erik Johnson, who allowed three runs and four hits over six innings in his final start of the spring. Johnson struck out four and walked three.

Cano went 2 for 4 with a three-run double in the seventh. After bolting the Yankees for a $240 million, 10-year contract with Seattle, the All-Star second baseman is batting .465 this spring.

The 23-year-old Semien, who showed promise during a September call-up last season, has a major league roster spot all but clinched. He could start the season opener at second base if Gordon Beckham isn’t ready due to injury.

“My goal in the offseason was to make the team,” Semien said.

The White Sox put together five consecutive hits off starter Blake Beavan in the second. A two-base error by right fielder Michael Saunders opened the door for Chicago, as Konerko scored the first run. Alexei Ramirez drove in a run with a single, Tyler Flowers singled and Semien cleared the bases.

Starting time

White Sox: Johnson is ticketed for the big league rotation, which could be set as soon as Tuesday. He threw 94 pitches.

“Today was a good one to end on and another good one to build off of,” he said.

Mariners: Beavan was having a solid spring until his last two outings. He lasted 5 1-3 innings Monday and gave up seven runs on seven hits without a walk, striking out three. He also allowed seven earned runs in his previous start, and might now be on the outside looking in at a spot in the unsettled rotation.

Beavan’s chances might have improved, however, when the Mariners released Scott Baker on Monday. The 32-year-old right-hander asked for his release after refusing an assignment to Triple-A Tacoma.

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