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09/21/08 6:30 PM ET

Thome's 2009 option kicks in

Designated hitter's plate performance extends contract

KANSAS CITY -- Jim Thome's $13 million contractual option for 2009 with the White Sox kicked in this weekend in Kansas City by virtue of his ninth-inning strikeout on Saturday night.

Thome needed either 600 plate appearances in 2007 or 1,100 between the last two seasons to guarantee the option, leaving him with 564 to pick up in 2008. With his four plate appearances on Sunday, Thome has 568.

The White Sox designated hitter has a .245 average this season, well below his .279 career mark. But Thome ranks second on the team to Carlos Quentin with his 33 home runs, while driving in 89, scoring 89 runs and walking 87 times.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.