Throwing away a five-run lead in fewer than five innings did the trick.
“I don’t get too mad about a lot of things,” he said, “but given a five-run lead in the first inning and coughing it up halfway through the fifth inning, that’s not good enough to get it done. I coughed it up for us tonight.”
The Royals still had a chance to bail him out.
Matt Lindstrom, normally the White Sox closer, gave up a leadoff single to Nori Aoki in the ninth, then appeared to step awkwardly fielding a sacrifice bunt by Alcides Escobar that resulted in an error. Scott Downs entered and struck out Eric Hosmer, and then Jake Petricka picked off pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson at second base before getting Billy Butler on a groundout for his first save.
“It didn’t look good,” he said.
The Royals also got banged up, losing All-Star catcher Salvador Perez to a jammed right hand.
“It was real sore, real swollen,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “It will probably be a couple of days. We’ll just rest it a couple of days and try to get some of that inflammation out.”
Zach Putnam (2-0) worked two shutout innings in relief of Scott Carroll for the win.
“We got behind big early, like a lot of games here in the past,” Konerko said. “But guys started taking pride in their at-bats and we started to chip away.”
Carroll, who grew up just north of Kauffman Stadium in Liberty, had a rude homecoming for the White Sox. He allowed the first five batters he faced to reach base, failed to get an out on his first 30 pitches and trailed 5-0 by the second inning.
“I was making good pitches,” he said, “and they were just finding holes.”