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Paul Konerko Pardons Jeff Samardzija For Pitch That Hit His Face

Paul Konerko returned to the White Sox lineup in a big way today: in his first at-bat against the Minnesota Twins, he blasted a double. The Sox are certainly glad to have their captain back. Konerko missed the final two games of the South Siders sweep over the Cubs after being in the face by starter Jeff Samardzija in his second at-bat of the series opener on Friday. In his first at-bat, Konerko blasted a home run.

While some may have thought the HBP looked shady following the homer, Konerko absolved Samardzija of any wrong doing before Tuesday's game against the Twins.

"I told him no worries and that nobody gets hit in the face on purpose by a breaking pitch," Konerko said. "I told him that I knew it wasn’t intentional, not even close, and he said he appreciated that. Sometimes (getting hit) happens. It is a part of the job."

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of this series, visit White Sox blog South Side Sox and Twins blog Twinkie Town. For more from around Major League Baseball, head over to Baseball Nation.