Viciedo stepping up in Konerko's absence

Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo hits a two-run homer against the Cubs in the third inning on Saturday. AP Photo/Jim Prisching

CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo has mixed feelings about what he’s done against the Chicago Cubs over the last two days at Wrigley Field.

Viciedo was barely supposed to play this weekend. White Sox manager Robin Ventura had an option to either sit Viciedo or slugger Adam Dunn for the series, and Ventura had made the logical choice of placing Viciedo on the bench. At best, Viciedo should have been lucky to get a couple of pinch-hit opportunities against the Cubs.

But on Friday, that plan was altered with one pitch. Viciedo found himself in the game after Paul Konerko took a pitch to the face on Friday and had to exit. Konerko also sat out Saturday because his left eye was swollen to the point where he could barely see out of it. He’ll likely miss Sunday, too.

Although Viciedo has filled in for Konerko nicely with a hit in two at-bats in Friday’s win and two more hits, including a home run, and three RBIs in Saturday’s victory, Viciedo doesn’t exactly feel great about the circumstances.

“Actually, I kind of feel bad because being in the game is because Paulie is out,” Viciedo said through translator Jackson Miranda. “I definitely don’t want to be in the game for that reason. Once they put me in, I’m just fortunate to be able to get in and contribute to the team.

“It’s great in the sense that’s what we’re here for. It’s one of those of kind of situations where we pick each other up. If they ask me to come in, that’s what I was hoping to do is contribute. It feels good.”

Saturday’s hitting performance put the finishing touches on a memorable seven-day span for Viciedo.

Viciedo’s week began with him going 0-for-3 against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. At that point, he had 20 hits, three home runs and five RBIs and his average fell to.196 on the season.

On Monday, Viciedo began to alter those numbers. It began with two hits, including a home run, and four RBIs on Monday. On Tuesday, he added two more hits and a RBI. On Wednesday, he had three more hits, including another home run, and one RBI. On Thursday, he added another home run and RBI. Which brings us to the Cubs series, and he’s gone 3-for-7 with a home run and three RBIs.

In the past week, Viciedo has gone 11-for-21 with four home runs and 10 RBIs. He’s now hitting .248, 52 points better than where he was Sunday, and has seven home runs and 15 RBIs on the season.

“It feels good,” Viciedo said of his week. “It’s something. Just continuing to work and just putting in that work it’s great to see those results.”