A minor back injury kept Paul Konerko out of the White Sox lineup on Thursday night. He has played in 132 of the team's 149 games, boasting a team-best .305 batting average with 23 home runs and 69 RBIs. Konerko has homered just twice in his last 95 at-bats, batting .237 in his last 42 games. "I'm going to just get my body in order for tomorrow night or later on tonight," Konerko said. "I should be good to go from here on out. That's basically it. Nothing's wrong or anything like that. Everybody's dragging." Dan Johnson made his third start since getting called up from Triple-A Charlotte on Sept. 1, going 0-for-3 and scoring a run in a 4-3 loss to the Royals on Thursday. He has five hits in 14 at-bats for the White Sox this season. Konerko, Adam Dunn and Gordon Beckham were among the White Sox players that got rid of their mustaches after a five-game winning streak came to an end after a 3-0 loss to the Royals on Wednesday. "My wife's happy that it's gone," Konerko said. "We've been trying to get rid of them since last Friday, but we kept winning games. So after [Wednesday]'s game, we finally said, 'Enough's enough.'" Angels: GM Dipoto believes Trout is AL's MVP
Count Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto as one who thinks rookie outfielder Mike Trout should be named American League MVP. While impressed with Miguel Cabrera, who has a chance to become the first player to win the Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski 45 years ago, Dipoto believes Trout -- who boasted a Majors-best 10.2 WAR entering Thursday -- is deserving of the MVP award. "If there is a definition of the Most Valuable Player, I think Mike Trout's picture would be next to it this year," Dipoto said. "Miguel Cabrera is having a season for the ages, as well -- something we haven't seen, quite frankly, in 40 years. I see the difference [Trout] makes on the field, what he does on the bases, what he does defensively, the different elements he brings to the game, which quite frankly, can't be mentioned in a stat line." The Angels were 82-67 after 149 games in 2011 and, before Thursday's night's 3-1 loss to the Rangers, were 81-68 through 149 contests this year. Despite the similar record, the Angels' offense has improved significantly since last season. The club's .274 team batting average is 21 points higher than it was through 149 games a year ago and the Angels scored 44 more runs and hit 22 more homers than they did at this time last September. Worth noting
White Sox left-hander Matt Thornton gave up a walk-off single to Eric Hosmer in a 4-3 loss to the Royals on Thursday night, snapping a 13 2/3-inning scoreless streak by White Sox relievers. After posting a 6.51 ERA over a 15-game stretch last month, Angels hurlers have gone 16-8 with a 2.63 ERA in 24 games. Entering Thursday, Torii Hunter (.347) and Erick Aybar (.346) owned the second-best and third-best batting averages in the AL since the All-Star break.