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Quintana throws seven strong vs. Royals

If the White Sox plan to maintain their two-game lead over the Tigers in the American League Central and navigate their way to a division title, they'll need to take advantage of every opportunity they're given.

So when a starter goes out and yields two runs in seven innings as Jose Quintana did in his last outing -- or as Jake Peavy did over eight innings in a no-decision Monday night -- Chicago needs to find a way to manufacture runs.

Quintana, Tuesday's starter against the Blue Jays, was dealt his second loss Wednesday thanks to two solo home runs by the Royals. The White Sox offense provided only one run of support.

It was actually one more run than the offense offered in Quintana's first Major League loss, which coincidentally came against Toronto on June 6. The rookie southpaw allowed two runs in that game as well, but Chicago was shut out, 4-0.

"This is definitely part of the game," said Quintana, who has been given two runs or fewer of support in eight of his 13 starts this season. "It's one of those things right now I'm not getting much run support, but that'll change."

For the Blue Jays, it's about continuing to weather the storm. The Jays have been affected by injuries perhaps more than any other team in the Majors, and it's reflected in the standings.

The Jays sit 13 games back in the American League East. Jose Bautista remains out, although he began swinging a bat once again Monday. Brett Lawrie is still on the disabled list. And the starting rotation is still hurting.

Henderson Alvarez takes the mound Tuesday looking to snap a two-game losing streak. It's been a difficult few months for the 22-year-old, who has posted a 5.20, 5.63 and 6.52 ERA in June, July and August, respectively.

He gave up six runs -- four earned -- on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings last Thursday against Tampa Bay. The Blue Jays have won 17 of their last 21 against the White Sox at Rogers Centre, but they'll need more from Alvarez to continue their winning ways against Chicago.

White Sox: Konerko to begin light activities
• First baseman Paul Konerko checked out fine after undergoing a concussion-related exam at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago on Monday. He could start doing some light physical activity Tuesday.

"It's just more of how he feels," said manager Robin Ventura on when Konerko could return. "Gotta cross your fingers, hoping it's Friday."

• Kevin Youkilis missed Sunday's game after being hit in the forearm with a pitch. But the third baseman was inserted back into the White Sox lineup, batting second, Monday. He went 0-for-4 with a walk in the 11-inning, 3-2 affair.

"He's good. He's fine," Ventura said. "I think it helped him to get a little break."

• A.J. Pierzynski was given a day as designated hitter Monday while Tyler Flowers started behind the plate. Pierzynski extended his hitting streak to 14 games and will be back behind the plate for Tuesday's and Wednesday's games. Flowers will likely catch the finale.

Blue Jays: Injured players making progress
• After experiencing a setback on Aug. 1, Bautista began swinging a bat again Monday. Bautista hasn't played in a game since July 16, when he sprain his left wrist. There is still no timetable for his return.

"We're going to got at a pace that his [pain] tolerance allows," manager John Farrell said.

• Brandon Morrow (left oblique strain) will pitch in at least two more rehab games, Farrell said Monday. He is scheduled to throw in Double-A New Hampshire on Tuesday. It was expected to be his last rehab start, but Farrell said he would need more time.

"To get him to what we feel is a comfortable level of 85 pitches at the Minor League level before getting back here, he's going to need two more starts to accomplish that," Farrell said.

Worth noting
• One thing the White Sox really have going for them is their record on the road. They are 30-26 and it is a big reason they continue to lead in the AL Central, as the Tigers are 28-32.

• Before Monday night's 3-2, walk-off victory for the Jays in 11 innings, Toronto and Chicago had split the season series, 3-3, with all games being played at U.S. Cellular Field. Including Monday, the Blue Jays are outscoring the White Sox, 32-26.

• With two home runs, including a game-tying solo shot in the top of the ninth inning, Adam Dunn notched his 1,000th career RBI. It was also is 398th career homer.

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