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)

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.

Today in White Sox History: November 25

Cheeky rookie: Guillén made quite a splash in his 1985 debut. (Fleer) 


1985Ozzie Guillén of the White Sox was named AL Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Guillén, who came to the Sox in a deal involving 1983 Cy Young winner LaMarr Hoyt, didn’t disappoint. His defense was outstanding, committing only 12 errors the entire season. Offensively, Ozzie recorded 134 hits and had a .273 batting average. He received 16 of 28 first place votes and finished with 101 points. Teddy Higuera of the Brewers was second. Ozzie would return to the Sox after his playing days ended to become the manager, winning the 2005 World Series with the club.


2005 — White Sox GM Ken Williams rolled the dice and traded popular outfielder Aaron Rowand to the Phillies for slugger Jim Thome. The Peoria native would hammer 42 home runs and garner the AL Comeback Player of the Year award in 2006, but many felt the trade changed the chemistry and philosophy of the club that won the World Series in 2005 — to say nothing of the defensive hole it created in center field. Thome would play almost four years with the Sox, with 134 home runs and three seasons of at least 90 RBIs. Thome hit his 500th career home run in 2007 at U.S. Cellular Field.