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SF@CWS: Sale strikes out seven in White Sox win

The Giants return to AT&T Park after a disappointing 4-6 road trip concluded with a disheartening three-game sweep at the hands of the Royals.

On the surface, welcoming the White Sox, losers of seven of their last nine games, would appear to be a nice welcome home gift, even if the Giants are 1-5 along the shores of McCovey Cove since the All-Star break.

That's just not quite the case, though.

The Giants -- who've mustered just seven runs in their last four games -- will be opposed by ace Chris Sale for the second time this season Tuesday night. The Giants could use a break or two and facing Sale twice in four games against the White Sox this season counts as the opposite of that.

Despite tagging Sale for three runs on eight hits in six innings in the teams' June 18 meeting on Chicago's South Side, the Giants lost, 7-6.

The Giants will counter by sending Ryan Vogelsong to the mound Tuesday. The righty has had a tremendous start to August, going 2-0 in two starts. He's allowed just two runs on nine hits in 15 innings in that span.

Giants: Rested Crawford an improved Crawford?
With Brandon Crawford mired in a slump, Giants manager Bruce Bochy opted to rest the Giants shortstop for "at least a couple of days," beginning Saturday against the Royals.

"He could use a break, I think," Bochy said.

After an 0-for-4 performance against the Royals on Friday night, Crawford is 2-for-25 in his last seven games.

"I don't know for sure if it is fatigue, but just as much as that, it's a physical and mental break right now," Bochy said.

Rookie Matt Duffy filled in for Crawford on Saturday and Sunday. Crawford has played in 112 games this season, so the hope is that the two days off on the weekend combined with Monday's off-day for the team will allow Crawford to press the proverbial reset button and provide a much-needed spark from the bottom of the Giants' lineup.

White Sox: End nearing for Konerko
Paul Konerko sat in the visitors' clubhouse Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field, preparing for his final career game against the Mariners and fully understanding the end to a stellar 16-year run with the White Sox is near.

"I can say this statement: I will be an ex-baseball player next month," Konerko said. "It's the truth. Since the All-Star break, it's becoming more real. It's there, you know. You can feel it coming. But like everything, I'm trying to spin it to where it's not a bad thing.

"It's just part of the life cycle of the player. I've been lucky to play for a long time. I'm trying not to look at it as a sad occasion. I hope nobody else is. I'm graduating on to other things and there's a time for this. Every player has to go through this stuff. I'm lucky because mine came a lot later than most. I feel lucky for that."

Worth noting
• The Giants have lost eight of their last nine games against American League teams.

• The Giants' 4 1/2-game deficit to the Dodgers in the National League West is their largest of the season.

• The White Sox are 12-6 in games started by Sale this season. Comments