White Sox slug Tigers

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DETROIT – Jim Thome and Joe Crede hit two-run homers and Paul Konerko added a solo shot, leading the Chicago White Sox to a 5-3 victory over Detroit in the Tigers’ home opener.

The last time the White Sox played at Comerica Park on Sept. 29, they clinched the AL Central en route to their first World Series title since 1917. Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said that 4-2 victory set up his team’s postseason success because it took pressure off players after they were called chokers for struggling toward the end of the regular season.

Freddy Garcia (1-1) gave up three runs and five hits over six innings for the White Sox, who have won two straight after losing four in a row. Garcia allowed seven runs and nine hits over four innings in his first start, a loss to Cleveland.

Jeremy Bonderman (1-1) allowed four runs and six hits in seven innings for the Tigers. Detroit has lost two straight following a 5-0 start under new manager Jim Leyland.

Detroit went ahead 2-0 on Craig Monroe’s two-run homer in the second inning, one pitch after Carlos Guillen walked. Thome tied the game in the third with a two-run shot, homering for the second straight day and fourth time this season.

Chicago took a 4-2 lead with another two-out homer, Crede’s in the sixth, the first home run for the White Sox by a player other than Thome. Chris Shelton’s RBI double pulled the Tigers within a run in the home half.

Brandon McCarthy relieved Garcia in the seventh and pitched two solid innings and Bobby Jenks pitched a perfect ninth for his second save.

Notes: Leyland was given perhaps the loudest pregame ovation. … Thome’s homer was his 434th, tying Juan Gonzalez for 34th. Thome is seventh among active players. … Detroit closer Todd Jones, on the 15-day DL with a pulled left hamstring, threw off a mound and said he felt good. … Detroit native Jerome Bettis, who helped the Pittsburgh Steelers win the Super Bowl next door at Ford Field, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. … The White Sox was 14-5 against Detroit last season.

AP-ES-04-10-06 1526EDT

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