Uribe, Rowand lead the offense in a 3-2 win

Mr. Reliable: Juan Uribe went 3-for-4 with a walk, and he delivered a key RBI double early on. (@whitesox)

The White Sox could not finish off the Royals in nine innings, but they finished the job in the 10th in this 3-2 victory.

Things got off to a promising start in the top of the first, when Scott Podsednik led off with a single. John Buck committed catcher’s interference, so Tadahito Iguchi was awarded first base. The great start to the game continued when the Royals made things even harder on themselves, as pitcher Zack Greinke balked the runners over. Suddenly, the White Sox had runners on second and third with no outs. Carl Everett drove Podsednik home with an RBI groundout, but that was all the White Sox could score that inning.

The Royals got that run back in the bottom of the first against starter José Contreras. This happened immediately, as leadoff hitter David DeJesus hit a solo homer to right-center. Fortunately, the White Sox fired right back in the top of the second, as A.J. Pierzynski was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. The next batter, Juan Uribe, drove a liner into the left field corner to drive Pierzynski in to make the score 2-1.

Though the offenses came out firing, this turned out to be a low-scoring game. This was partially due to the recovery of José Contreras after allowing the home run to DeJesus. However, Contreras had to leave this game in the fourth when he pulled the lower hamstring in his right leg. Injuries are always unfortunate, and this one hurt a bit worse than most considering how well Contreras looked after the home run. Contreras reached 97 mph, and he retired all six he faced in the second and third innings, striking out five of them. His final line: third and one-third innings, one run (it was earned), one hit, one walk, and six strikeouts. Let’s hope the injury is not too serious.

Thanks to excellent relief appearances by Cliff Politte and Neal Cotts, the score remained 2-1 until the bottom of the eighth. With a runner on third and two outs, Mike Sweeney came up to bat in a huge spot, and he delivered. Sweeney’s single brought us right back to where we started, as the score was tied once again. Matt Stairs followed with a single to put runners on the corners, but Luiz Vizcaino limited the damage to just one run by retiring 2003 AL Rookie of the Year Angel Berroa.

The Royals had a golden opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the ninth, as a one-out double by John Buck put runners on second and third. After an intentional walk to former White Sox Tony Graffanino, the bases were loaded for pinch-hitter Eli Marrero. But, the White Sox caught a huge break from the runner on third, Matt Diaz. On a pitch that got away from Pierzynski, Diaz took a big gamble by trying to score, and he failed. Pierzynski made an excellent play, as he got the ball over to Damaso Marte in time to tag Diaz out. Marte proceeded to strike Marrero out to force the game into extras.

In the 10th, the White Sox finally put their third run on the board. After singles by Jermaine Dye and Juan Uribe, the White Sox had runners on the corners with two outs. Aaron Rowand came up to bat with a chance to give the White Sox the lead, and he did just that. Rowand lined a single into right-center field, and Marte went on to pitch a 1-2-3 10th inning to seal it.

This was the White Sox’s fifth consecutive win, and they improved to 14-4 on the season. That 14-4 record is the best start to a season in franchise history. Meanwhile, the hapless Royals fell to 5-13. The White Sox are seeking a third straight sweep when they take on the Royals tomorrow (April 24, 2005) afternoon. But, let’s look at a couple of questions first:

  1. In 2003, which White Sox infielder hit three home runs in a game against the Royals?
  2. Which member of the 2005 White Sox started an All-Star Game for the Royals?

Answers

  1. José Valentin
  2. Jermaine Dye (2000)

Crede, Konerko power the White Sox to a 3-1 win

Doubling up: Joe Crede drove in the first run of the game with a double to center field. (@TheSoxSide)

While there were 25 hits in this game, there were only four runs. Timely hitting was hard to come by, but the White Sox found just enough, while the Twins did not.

Both teams got off to a slow start offensively, though hitters weren’t exactly overpowered by starters Orlando Hernández and Brad Radke. During the first four innings, nobody scored, though scoring threats were plentiful. In the bottom of the first, the White Sox managed to put runners on the corners with no outs, but Radke escaped the jam. In the top of the second, the Twins put runners on the corners with no outs, but Hernández wiggled out of it. In the fourth, the Twins put runners on first and second, but Michael Cuddyer grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. In the fifth, the Twins put runners on the corners with two outs, but a 1-3 groundout ended it, so the score remained 0-0.

In the bottom of the fifth, the White Sox finally broke the ice. A.J. Pierzynski led off with a single, which set the table for Joe Crede. Crede hit a line drive to deep center, which Torii Hunter made an uncharacteristically poor read on. Initially, Hunter started running in on Crede’s liner, which made it impossible for him to make the catch. Pierzynski scored, and Crede ended up at second. Crede went on to score on a sacrifice fly by Scott Podsednik to make it 2-0.

In the sixth, the Twins squandered a scoring opportunity yet again, and Paul Konerko added an insurance run with a solo homer. Incredibly, Konerko already has seven home runs this season, and he is slashing .260/.315/.700.

The bullpen did a great job holding the Twins’ bats in check, so the White Sox did not need any more insurance. Southpaw Damaso Marte retired the only two batters he faced to record the save, his first of the year. The only hiccup for the bullpen came when Shingo Takatsu allowed a double to Shannon Stewart and a single to Matt LeCroy. LeCroy’s RBI single resulted in the Twins’ only run.

Don’t look now, but after this victory, the White Sox have the best record in the American League (10-4). Meanwhile, the Twins have sole possession of second place in the AL Central (8-6). Tomorrow (April 20, 2005), the White Sox will open a two-game series at Comerica Park, as they will take on the Tigers. Jon Garland and Wil Ledezma will be the probable starting pitchers.

Let’s take a look at a couple of trivia questions, shall we?

  1. Tonight, Orlando Hernández allowed 10 hits but did not allow any runs. No White Sox pitcher has done that since 1984. Who was that 1984 pitcher?
  2. This player, who led the 1983 AL West champions in stolen bases, also led them in postseason hits.

Answers

  1. Richard Dotson (To be exact, Dotson allowed 11 hits and somehow escaped every jam unscathed)
  2. Rudy Law (77 stolen bases that year, which is still a franchise record, and it will probably stand for a very long time)

García, Podsednik lead White Sox to 2-1 win

Tough to solve: Freddy García took advantage of favorable pitching conditions and earned the victory with eight excellent innings. (@whitesox)

Both starting pitchers performed admirably, and the wind was blowing in sharply most of the afternoon. Combine the two, and you get a pitchers’ dual, and that is what we witnessed today. Fortunately, the White Sox managed to score once more than Cleveland in a 2-1 victory.

In the bottom of the first, the White Sox survived a scare, as power-hitting DH Travis Hafner crushed a pitch from Freddy García. On most days, that ball would have cleared the fence for a two-run homer. However, with the wind blowing in, it was merely a deep flyout to left fielder Scott Podsednik.

García also kept Cleveland off the board in the second, but in the third, Cleveland broke the scoreless tie. With a runner on second and two outs, Hafner stepped up to the plate again, and this time, the weather did not hurt him. Hafner hit a sharp ground ball into center field for a single that drove in Coco Crisp for the game’s first run.

Meanwhile, Cleveland starter Kevin Millwood got off to a terrific start. In fact, nobody in a White Sox uniform even reached scoring position until the top of the fifth, and that could hardly be blamed on Millwood. Pablo Ozuna, filling in for Juan Uribe at shortstop, reached on an error and stole second base. But, Millwood worked out of that jam by getting Joe Crede to ground out to preserve the 1-0 lead.

In the sixth, however, the White Sox finally got on the board. Podsednik showed off his wheels once again by leading off with a bunt single. The bunt itself was questionable, as he popped it up to the left of the mound. But, it got over Millwood’s glove, and with his speed, there was no chance of throwing him out. Then, Podsednik stole second rather easily, and he is already 4-for-5 on stolen base attempts this season. After Tadahito Iguchi struck out, DH Carl Everett drove Podsednik home with an RBI single to right.

The seventh inning also brought a good result for the White Sox, and once again, Scott Podsednik played a big role. With two outs and nobody on, Chris Widger and Joe Crede hit back-to-back singles. Then, in a big spot, Podsednik lined a single to center field to drive in Widger and give the White Sox a 2-1 lead.

From that point forward, García ended his day on a very high note, retiring the last 14 batters he faced. As a result, at the end of the eighth inning, the White Sox led by a score of 2-1. García’s final line was the following: eight innings, one run (it was earned), four hits, two walks, and four strikeouts. García’s ERA dropped to an excellent 1.93 through his first two starts of the season.

The White Sox failed to add an insurance run in the top of the ninth, as they went down 1-2-3. Luckily, the bullpen got the job done, so there was no need for insurance. In the bottom of the ninth, reliever Damaso Marte walked Hafner but retired the other two he faced. With the tying run on first and two outs, manager Ozzie Guillen called on Shingo Takatsu, and Takatsu struck out Aaron Boone to close things out.

The White Sox improved to 5-2 in the young season, while Cleveland fell to 3-4. On Wednesday (April 13, 2005) evening, the White Sox will play another game at Jacobs Field. This time, José Contreras will start for the White Sox, while Cliff Lee is Cleveland’s probable starter.

Let’s enjoy a couple of shortstop-related trivia questions:

  1. There are three shortstops in White Sox history with more than 1,500 career hits with the team. Who are they?
  2. José Valentin was the White Sox’s primary shortstop from 2000-04. Who started for the White Sox at shortstop on Opening Day in 1999?

Answers

  1. Luke Appling, Ozzie Guillen, and Luis Aparicio.
  2. Mike Caruso.

Lucky seventh inning leads the White Sox past Minnesota

Putting it on the board: Timo Pérez hit his first homer of the season, and the blast gave the White Sox a lead that would not relinquish. (@CPHSox)


The White Sox’s strong first week of the season continued, as they took down the Twins in Minnesota by a score of 8-5.

The offense raced out of the starting blocks, as they put up two against Twins starter Brad Radke in the top of the first. Granted, the offense needed some help from Twins third baseman Michael Cuddyer. Cuddyer allowed Tadahito Iguchi to reach base, as he committed an error, somehow his third in just five games. Carl Everett followed Iguchi with a home run over the tall right field wall to make the score 2-0. Everett’s blast was his first of the season, and it set the tone for what would be a high-scoring effort by the offense.

In the third, the White Sox added an insurance run. With the bases empty and one out, Scott Podsednik started a rally by knocking a single up the middle. Iguchi followed with a double to left that just got over Cuddyer’s outstretched glove to put runners on second and third. In stepped Everett, who was looking to crush a pitch from Radke for the second time of the evening. The first two pitches to Everett caught a sizable chunk of the plate, but Everett fouled them off. Fortunately, even though the third pitch was inside, Everett managed to get enough muscle behind his swing to drive in a run with a sacrifice fly to right.

Meanwhile, things started easy for White Sox starter Jon Garland. Garland’s first four innings were scoreless, but incredibly, he did not strike anyone out those innings. During that time, Garland found some excellent BABIP luck, but it did not last throughout his entire start. In the bottom of the fifth, with the score still 3-0, the Twins started the inning with back-to-back singles, the second of which was very softly hit. Two batters later, with runners at the corners and one out, left fielder Shannon Stewart smashed a homer to left to tie it at three.

The sixth inning was not so easy for Garland, either, though he was able to escape unharmed. Matt LeCroy and Torii Hunter led off with back-to-back hits, and Hunter’s drive barely stayed in the park. After an infield single by Lew Ford, the Twins had the bases juiced with one out. In perhaps the most important at-bat of the day, Garland made a great pitch to Cuddyer. As a result, Garland wiggled out of the jam, as Cuddyer grounded into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play. The final line for Garland: six innings, three runs (all earned), 10 hits, no walks, and one strikeout.

In the seventh, the White Sox took control. Timo Pérez led off the inning with a homer, his first of the season. After singles by Aaron Rowand, Joe Crede, and Juan Uribe, the White Sox led by a score of 5-3. After Podsednik reached base on an RBI forceout that made it 6-3, the White Sox benefited from some sloppy fielding. With two outs, Twins pitcher J.C. Romero made an errant throw on a pickoff attempt that allowed Podsednik to advance to third (this guy has serious wheels, and I have a feeling they will come in handy). After a passed ball by catcher Joe Mauer, Podsednik scored to extend the lead to four.

Paul Konerko added another insurance run in the eighth, as he launched a solo home run (his third homer already!) to make it 8-3. The Twins did not lie down, as Hunter hit a solo homer of his own, and an RBI single by Mauer trimmed the deficit to three. However, it was too little, too late, as Shingo Takatsu came in to shut the door without any problems.

With the 8-5 victory, the White Sox improved to 4-1, while the Twins fell to 2-3. Tomorrow (April 10, 2005) will be the final game of this three-game set against Minnesota. Mark Buehrle is set to start for the White Sox, and 2004 AL Cy Young winner Johan Santana is the Twins’ probable starter.

Before I sign off, here are a couple of trivia questions about recent White Sox history:

  1. The 2004 White Sox hit 242 home runs. How many teams in franchise history have hit more?
  2. Let’s build off today’s Aflac Trivia Question: Which player led the 2004 White Sox in both stolen bases and games with four or more hits?

Answers

  1. Zero, as of April 9, 2005. (Same answer as of March 27, 2020.)
  2. Willie Harris, who had 19 stolen bases and four games with four or more hits. (I wonder how many stolen bases Podsednik will get this season. Probably more than 19!)

Buehrle shines as White Sox win season opener, 1-0

Diamond in the rough: Offense was hard to come by, but Paul Konerko went 2-for-3 with a double, and he scored the only run in today’s victory. (@whitesox_fanly)


Note: With baseball paused for the 2020 season, we’re running some reimagined game recaps in conjunction with NBC Sports Chicago replaying key games of the 2005 White Sox World Series season.


It was a classic pitchers’ duel at US Cellular Field this afternoon, as the White Sox took down Cleveland by a score of 1-0.

White Sox starter Mark Buehrle was on top of his game. Though Cleveland’s hitters only struck out five times in eight innings against him, they struggled to make any kind of sharp contact. Unfortunately, the White Sox’s bats also had trouble, as solving Cleveland starter Jake Westbrook proved to be a difficult task.

The first baserunner of the game for either team was Jermaine Dye, who singled off Westbrook with one out in the second. Dye reached second base on a groundout by Aaron Rowand, but he was stranded at second after A.J. Pierzynski lined out to end the inning. Meanwhile, the first Cleveland baserunner was Victor Martinez, who led off the fifth with a single up the middle. However, that glimmer of hope for Cleveland was dashed on the very first pitch to the next batter, as Aaron Boone grounded into a double play.

The next scoring threat for either team was in the top of the seventh, when Cleveland put runners on first and second with one out. Buehrle fell behind Martinez 2-1, but he made a great pitch to force an easy double play ball to retire the side. As of the seventh-inning stretch, the game was still scoreless. Luckily, the White Sox finally broke through in the bottom half. Slugger Paul Konerko led off with a double into the left field corner for his second hit, becoming the only player with a multi-hit performance. Dye followed by flying out to right, but his fly ball was plenty deep enough to get Konerko to third. Rowand hit a soft grounder to shortstop, but Jhonny Peralta could not handle it, so Konerko scored, and Rowand reached first easily.

The White Sox had a chance to add to the lead, as Rowand stole second, and Pierzynski followed with an infield single (a good play by Cleveland second baseman Ronnie Belliard probably would have gotten A.J. at first, but who cares? A.J. got an infield single to second!) to put runners on the corners. However, Joe Crede grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Fortunately, that run was all the White Sox needed, as Buehrle threw another shutout inning in the eighth, and Shingo Takatsu closed the door with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

The White Sox open the season with a 1-0 record, while Cleveland drops to 0-1. Freddy García is the White Sox’s probable starter on Wednesday (April 6, 2005), and he is set to take on Kevin Millwood.

Anyway, before I sign off for the day, enjoy these trivia questions from the future:

  1. Which player got the last White Sox single in 2005?
  2. A variation of today’s Aflac Trivia Question: Which pitcher holds the White Sox record for most wins on Opening Day?

Answers

  1. Jermaine Dye, who also got the team’s first single today, as noted earlier.
  2. Mark Buehrle, with four (2002, 2005, 2010, and 2011). Jack McDowell, Billy Pierce, and Chris Sale each had three Opening Day victories with the team.