Landing Paul Konerko is probably just wishful thinking for Angels

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Reporting from Chicago — Gazing at Paul Konerko from their dugout could be the closest the Angels get to the Chicago White Sox first baseman this season.

The White Sox had won 19 of their last 23 games before playing the Angels on Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field to move within one game of Detroit in the American League Central.

Chicago’s surge back into playoff contention probably makes the White Sox less likely to trade Konerko, a veteran slugger who began Tuesday hitting .299 and ranks among the AL leaders with 20 home runs and 58 runs batted in.

“I don’t really have many thoughts on that,” Konerko said of the possibility of being traded. “It’s not my job to worry about what moves we’re going to make. I think they put this team together to win, so if we’re winning and competing, hopefully I can hang around.”

Konerko, who is being paid $12 million in the final season of a five-year contract, could significantly boost an Angels offense that has struggled to replace the production of injured first baseman Kendry Morales and averaged only 4.3 runs in the 14 games preceding Tuesday.

Should the White Sox fade in the weeks before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline, Konerko, 34, would have to waive his no-trade clause to be dealt to another team. Playing for the Angels would figure to be an easy transition for someone who came up in the Dodgers minor league system and worked with several coaches who are now part of the Angels staff.

A catcher at the time, Konerko worked with Angels Manager Mike Scioscia, who was then the Dodgers’ minor league catching coordinator. He also played for Angels third base coach Dino Ebel and hitting coach Mickey Hatcher at various stops in the minor leagues and Dominican winter league.

“I know a lot of those guys,” Konerko said.

See how it goes

Juan Rivera was back in left field after sitting out six consecutive games because of problems associated with blurred vision.

The outfielder said the rest helped and that his vision was “much better than six days” ago.

Rivera began the game hitting .239 with 10 homers and 34 RBIs, well off the numbers he put up last season, when he batted .287 with 25 homers and 88 RBIs.

But Scioscia said he was confident putting Rivera back in the lineup.

“He’s ready to go,” Scioscia said.

Welcome back

Cory Aldridge was at his brother’s wedding in Abilene, Texas, last weekend when he learned he had been promoted to the major leagues.

“I get this call, ‘How soon can you be here?’ ” Aldridge said. “I’m like, ‘How soon can you get me there?’ ”

The outfielder was in Anaheim on Sunday and started in right field Monday — his second career major league start and first since Oct. 6, 2001, with Atlanta.

Aldridge endured eight-plus seasons in the minor leagues between the starts, saying his love for the game kept him going.

“It’s way better than wearing a suit, it’s way better than being on top of a house,” said Aldridge, who was hitting .309 at triple-A Salt Lake at the time of his promotion. “It’s kind of come full circle and I want to stick around as long as possible and each day do something positive.”

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