MINNEAPOLIS - Paul Konerko took a rare day off against a left-hander on Monday night, a reminder that the White Sox captain is no longer 30 years old.
"Yeah, I'm a little worn down, like everybody,'' Konerko said.
To keep him fresh as possible, manager Robin Ventura has used Konerko as a designated hitter on artificial turf and cold days and plans regular days off for the 37-year-old who ranks second all-time in homers and RBI in franchise history.
Konerko is hitting in the clutch (.360 with runners in scoring position) but he's batting .172 overall with one homer and five RBI in his last 16 games.
"[It's been] a little bit of everything,'' Konerko said Monday. "I really can't complain with the at-bats I've had lately. I've done what I wanted to do. It's just finishing it off.''
Konerko flipped his bat and was visibly frustrated after grounding out to shortstop on a fastball down the middle from the Angels' C.J. Wilson on Sunday.
"That's everybody,'' Ventura said. "He's frustrated with where it's at.''
Ventura, who played left-handed Adam Dunn at first base and right-handed Casper Wells in left field, said the day off had nothing to do with Konerko's performance.
Said Konerko: "At any point, one swing, one at-bat can turn the tide, and that's what you got to tell yourself and that's what you have to believe.''
Pedro Hernandez (1-0, 5.96), who pitched briefly for the Sox last year before going to the Twins as part of the Francisco Liriano trade, started for the Twins.