|Chi. White Sox «||1||0||0||0||0||3||1||0||0||5||11||0|
MINNEAPOLIS -- Though he's now 35, Orlando Hernandez still has plenty of ways to get outs. And though the Chicago White Sox have changed their offensive philosophy, they still have plenty of power.
Hernandez pitched seven sparkling innings in his White Sox debut, and sixth-inning home runs by Paul Konerko and Aaron Rowand lifted Chicago past Minnesota 5-1 on Friday night in the Twins' home opener.
"We're going to hit home runs, but we're not going to play the game relying on them," Konerko said. "We feel like even if we don't hit a ball into the outfield, we can win the game."
Certainly if their starting pitching keeps this up -- a 1.33 ERA over 27 innings after stellar outings by Mark Buehrle, Freddy Garcia, Jose Contreras and Hernandez.
Hernandez, the Cuban whose shoulder problems last year led to a disappointing September and October with the New York Yankees, struck out five and retired his last seven batters.
With that exaggerated high leg kick and deceptively slow curveball in familiar form, Hernandez changed speeds effectively and allowed six hits and one run without a walk.
"I feel good," he said. "I have good command of every pitch and good control."
Throwing a few of his curves as slow as 53 mph, Hernandez can make his pedestrian fastball look a lot faster than it is.
"That's El Duque," Minnesota's Torii Hunter said. "That's what he does."
Carl Everett went 3-for-5 with two RBI doubles for Chicago, which came back from a crushing 11-5 defeat to Cleveland in 11 innings on Thursday afternoon in which closer Shingo Takatsu gave up three home runs.
"Like I said in spring training," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said, "every day we have a chance."
The White Sox remade their lineup this season to be a little more like the Twins, the three-time defending AL Central champions who don't hit many home runs and rely more on contact and speed to score.
But it was power that put them ahead in sixth against loser Kyle Lohse. Konerko smacked a 3-2 slider that didn't snap high into the air and deep into the left-field seats, an estimated 427 feet from home plate.
Then, after a single by Jermaine Dye, Rowand went deep to give Chicago a 4-1 lead.
"So much for Ozzie's speed ball," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said.
The White Sox lost Carlos Lee, Magglio Ordonez and Jose Valentin in the offseason, but Konerko and Rowand combined for 65 home runs last season.
"You've still got some guys over there with some pop," Lohse said.
The Twins are looking for Lohse, who won 27 games over the 2002 and 2003 seasons, to rebound from a rough year. He was off to a solid start in 2005, until those two balls went over the wall in the sixth.
Lohse gave up four runs, seven hits and one walk in 5 1/3 innings while striking out two.
"I felt strong going into that inning," he said.
Rookie Jason Bartlett went 2-for-4, driving in Minnesota's only run with a double in the third. Bartlett, who beat out three other competitors in camp to win the shortstop job, is batting .385 with three RBI in three games.
Joe Mays, skipped in the rotation to keep the others on regular rest, made his first regular-season appearance since Aug. 31, 2003. After missing all of last year following reconstructive elbow surgery, Mays gave up an RBI double to Everett in the seventh and allowed three hits over two innings.
"It's been a while," he said. "It was nice to get out there."
White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, experiencing the other side of this rivalry for the first time, received a mixture of cheers and boos from the overcapacity crowd of 48,764. Pierzynski, an All-Star for the Twins in 2002, went 1-for-4 with one strikeout.
"I don't know why they booed me," Pierzynski said. "I didn't leave here because I wanted to. They traded me. I guess it's because I'm on the White Sox. Oh, well."
Jon Garland, Chicago's scheduled starter for Saturday, returned to the team's hotel during the game with the flu. If he's unable to pitch, Buehrle will move up a day and throw on normal rest. ... Bob Casey, the Twins' only public address announcer in the franchise's 44 years who died last month, was honored before the game. Casey's three sons took turns reading the lineups in his place. ... Casey's old workspace, a bunker-like room behind home plate that was dubbed "The Hole," has been boarded up this season to accommodate additional seats. ... Everett is 8-for-18 with four RBI in his career against Lohse.
|Players of the Game|
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|Chicago White Sox|
|Scott Podsednik, LF||4||1||1||0||1||0||0||.250|
|Willie Harris, 2B||5||1||2||0||0||0||3||.333|
|Carl Everett, DH||5||0||3||2||0||0||1||.313|
|Paul Konerko, 1B||3||1||1||1||1||1||2||.429|
|Jermaine Dye, RF||4||1||2||0||0||0||3||.313|
|Aaron Rowand, CF||3||1||1||2||0||0||1||.133|
|A.J. Pierzynski, C||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.333|
|Joe Crede, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.071|
|Juan Uribe, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.077|
|2B - Carl Everett 2 (3, Lohse, Mays)|
|HR - Paul Konerko (2, Lohse), Aaron Rowand (1, Lohse)|
|SH - Aaron Rowand (1)|
|RBI - Carl Everett 2 (2), Paul Konerko (5), Aaron Rowand 2 (3)|
|2-OUT RBI - Carl Everett (1)|
|SB - Scott Podsednik 2 (3, 2nd base off Lohse/Mauer, 2nd base off Mays/Mauer)|
|CS - Scott Podsednik (1, 2nd base by Guerrier/Mauer)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Uribe-Willie Harris-Konerko|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Orlando Hernandez (W,1-0)||7||6||1||1||0||5||0||1.29|
|HBP - Jones (by Orlando Hernandez)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Orlando Hernandez 104-70, Dustin Hermanson 29-19|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Orlando Hernandez 9-6|
|Batters Faced - Orlando Hernandez 27, Dustin Hermanson 8|
|Shannon Stewart, LF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.222|
|Jason Bartlett, SS||4||0||2||1||0||1||1||.385|
|Joe Mauer, C||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.250|
|Matthew LeCroy, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.286|
|Torii Hunter, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.063|
|Jacque Jones, RF||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.385|
|Lew Ford, DH||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.083|
|Michael Cuddyer, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||1||3||.133|
|Luis Rivas, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||1||0||.400|
|2B - Jason Bartlett (1, Hernandez), Joe Mauer (1, Hernandez), Jacque Jones (2, Hermanson)|
|RBI - Jason Bartlett (3)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jason Bartlett (2)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Cuddyer-Rivas-LeCroy|
|E - Michael Cuddyer (2, wild throw)|
|Kyle Lohse (L,0-1)||5.1||7||4||4||1||2||2||6.75|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 92-63, Jesse Crain 2-2, Joe Mays 37-24, Matt Guerrier 13-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 7-7, Jesse Crain 1-1, Joe Mays 1-4, Matt Guerrier 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 24, Jesse Crain 2, Joe Mays 9, Matt Guerrier 4|
|Attendance - 48764|
|Game Time - 2:46|
|Temperature - 70|
|Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - Randy Marsh, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Sam Holbrook|