Slugging Sox ruin Tigers’ home opener
DETROIT ” Jim Thome again provided the Chicago White Sox with power, and for a change his teammates gave him some help.
Thome and Joe Crede hit two-run homers and Paul Konerko added a solo shot, leading Chicago to a 5-3 victory Monday in the Detroit Tigers’ home opener.
When Thome made it 2-all in the third with his fourth home run, he remained the only White Sox player to clear the fences this season. In the sixth, Crede ended the non-Thome homer drought and put the White Sox ahead. Konerko restored their two-run lead in the eighth.
“I knew we were going to hit,” said Freddy Garcia, who gave up three runs and five hits over six innings for his 100th win. “We have a great lineup.”
Thome, who has been used solely as a designated hitter, was acquired from Philadelphia in November for outfielder Aaron Rowand and two pitchers. Thome hit just seven homers in 59 games last season, limited by elbow and back injuries.
The last time the White Sox played at Comerica Park was Sept. 29, when they clinched the AL Central en route to their first World Series title since 1917.
Garcia (1-1) bounced back with a solid outing after allowing seven runs and nine hits over four innings in his first start, a loss to Cleveland.
Chicago has won two straight after losing four in a row.
Astros 5, Nationals 4, 12 innings
HOUSTON ” Eric Bruntlett hit a sacrifice fly that scored Craig Biggio in the 12th inning Monday and lifted the Houston Astros to a 5-4 win over the Washington Nationals.
Biggio led off the inning with a double off the left-field wall and advanced on Willy Taveras’ bunt. Mike Stanton (0-1) intentionally walked Lance Berkman and Morgan Ensberg, who had homered off Chad Cordero in the 10th to tie the game at 4-4.
Bruntlett pinch hit for reliever Chad Qualls, hit a high fly to center fielder Brandon Watson, and Biggio crouched at third as he awaited the catch. Watson’s throw home was high and late, and Biggio easily slid in with the winning run.
Houston took three out of four from the Nationals, who play their home opener Tuesday against the New York Mets. Berkman and Preston Wilson also homered for Houston ” the fourth time they’ve homered in the same game.
Cardinals 6, Brewers 4
ST. LOUIS ” Apparently, the new Busch Stadium is both a hitter’s and pitcher’s park. At least for Mark Mulder.
The Cardinals’ left-hander threw eight strong innings and hit his first career home run to help the St. Louis beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-4 Monday in the first major league game at the $365 million ballpark.
Scott Rolen’s two-run double in the fourth off Tomo Ohka (0-1) gave the Cardinals the lead for good and Albert Pujols hit his fourth homer, a drive to the left-center power alley estimated at 445 feet.
Dodgers 8, Pirates 3
PITTSBURGH ” The Dodgers didn’t need Jim Tracy to do what they nearly always do in Pittsburgh. That’s win, and win big.
Jason Repko homered and tripled to drive in four runs in the first two innings and the Dodgers roughed up their former manager’s new team, beating the Pirates 8-3 Monday in Pittsburgh’s home opener.
Odalis Perez (1-0) limited the already slumping Pirates to one run and five hits over 5 1-3 innings after giving up seven runs and nine hits in three innings in his first start.
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