Back-to-back, Dye, Konerko reach 300
Sox sluggers hit consecutive homers to reach milestone
DETROIT -- A perfect plan had been laid out in the collective mind of the White Sox. They were going an afternoon or evening of major home run milestones early in 2009.
Here's how it went: Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye entered the current campaign with 298 career home runs, while A.J. Pierzynski stood at 98. So, if the stars aligned and they all could go deep in the same game, there would be a lot of celebrating going on in the White Sox dugout.
Those plans changed in the second inning of Monday's 10-6 victory over the Tigers. Dye homered off Zach Miner on a 2-1 pitch leading off the frame, climbing to career home run No. 300, and six pitches later, on a full-count offering from Miner, Konerko cleared the left-field fence for his 300th home run.
Years from now, nobody will remember that these pair of home runs represented the first time the White Sox went back-to-back in 2009. People will remember how Dye and Konerko became the first pair of teammates to hit a century home run milestone, considered 300 or above, in the same game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
And Miner has his name begrudgingly attached to the record.
"I found out about it after," said Miner of the consecutive home runs. "Miggy [Miguel Cabrera] said I was in the record books. I'm happy for them. I'm just sorry it was against me."
"It's pretty cool for something like that to happen the same day, back-to-back, and I don't know if that's ever happened before," said Dye, who homered in his last at-bat on Sunday and his first at-bat on Monday. "It's a great accomplishment by both of us. We both have pretty good careers, and, hopefully, there will be many more to come."
For a more precise count, Dye's 390-foot drive to left-center marked the 139th home run of his career with the White Sox. Konerko's 362-foot line shot over the head of left fielder Josh Anderson and rising just above the fence into the bullpen was No. 293 for the first baseman with the club. Konerko sits second in White Sox history behind Frank Thomas' 448 home runs and was able to put this memorable accomplishment into perspective by simply looking across the locker room at Jim Thome, who has 543 career dingers. A smiling Dye shared the same sentiment.
"We've been fortunate to hit a lot of home runs, but then you look over at Jim, and he's still  ahead of us," Dye said. "I don't know if you consider us home run hitters, but we hit them."
"I'm proud of it and I'm sure Jermaine is as well," Konerko said. "It was great it came in winning fashion. You can enjoy it more. You're in the dugout reflecting for a few minutes and then you look over at Jim and say, 'Let's go play defense.'"
It only seems fitting that these men achieved their milestones at Comerica Park. Dye, who talked about the great hitting background at Detroit's home ballpark, is tied with Joe Crede for the most home runs by a visiting player at Comerica Park with 15, while Konerko is tied for fourth with Thome at 12.
Bragging rights for this particular accomplishment go to Dye, by about five minutes, but manager Ozzie Guillen takes the blame for hitting Dye one ahead of Konerko in the order. Dye joked about telling Konerko that he was going to get to 300 on Monday, but it was pretty much normal congratulations when Dye crossed home plate.
When Konerko's home run cleared the fence, though, a brief but frenzied celebration was set off on the visitors' side of the field. Two home runs from Pierzynski, coupled with the victory, would have made Monday the perfect long ball moment.
Instead, Dye and Konerko will have a personal memory to share for years to come.
"That's amazing. I never thought that was going to happen," Guillen said. "It's something you're not going to see often, and it was nice. Those two home runs contributed in the right way."
"It's even more amazing that it was back-to-back," Konerko said. "I'm thinking 10, 20 years from now, we'll be able to say that, which is kind of cool."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.