Minnesota at Chicago

W: J. Vazquez (1-1) L: M. Guerrier (0-1)
S: B. Jenks (4)
HR: MIN - None   CHW - J. Crede (2)

White Sox take home opener on strength of Crede's grand slam

CBSSports.com wire reports

CHICAGO -- Joe Crede appeared to be the Chicago White Sox's forgotten man, but now that he's healthy, he's sending out reminders - like that loud one he delivered on Monday.

Crede hit a tiebreaking grand slam to cap a five-run seventh inning, and Chicago won its home opener 7-4 over the Minnesota Twins.

Coming off a weekend sweep at Detroit, Chicago has won five straight for the first time since Aug. 10-14, 2006. The White Sox have won six of their last seven home openers.

Crede, batting .393 with 10 RBI, endured a back injury last season and trade rumors in the offseason. Last year, limited to 47 games because of his bad back, he hit .216 with 22 RBI. With Josh Fields also available to play third, Chicago explored trade opportunities for Crede during much of the offseason.

"The biggest thing coming into this season was staying healthy," said Crede, who struggled in spring training. "For me that was my main goal in the spring, was to be able to get out there and feel comfortable at the plate, feel comfortable on defense and No. 1 to stay healthy."

Jermaine Dye tied the score at 3 with a one-out RBI single off Pat Neshek, who had just relieved Matt Guerrier (0-1). A.J. Pierzynski struck out, and Carlos Quentin loaded the bases with a single.

Crede broke his bat while driving a 1-0 pitch to the bullpen in left for the fifth slam, his first since June 24, 2006, against Houston. He didn't think that high arching shot had a chance to clear the wall. Nor did Neshek.

It did, by a few feet, and the crowd erupted.

"I thought Delmon (Young) was going to come over in foul territory and scoop it up or if anything it would go out into the crowd and be a foul ball," Neshek said. "But it stayed straight. You hate that stuff when it happens as a pitcher, but we have another 150-some games left. Hopefully, it doesn't happen too much more."

The White Sox would like to see more of this from Crede.

"Everyone knows what Joe can do when Joe's healthy," Pierzynski said. "I don't think there are too many people in this clubhouse worried about what Joe Crede's going to do if he's healthy."

Chicago's Javier Vazquez (1-1) struggled early before settling into a rhythm, and allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings, striking out eight and walking one. He is 4-0 with a 2.74 ERA in his last six starts against the Twins.

Bobby Jenks pitched a scoreless ninth for his fourth save in as many chances.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was ejected after plate umpire Phil Cuzzi called a second strike against Paul Konerko during the third inning. Guillen went nose-to-nose with the umpire for several minutes as the crowd chanted "Ozzie! Ozzie!" The ejection was Guillen's 13th since becoming Chicago's manager in 2004.

"I'm here for my players," he said. "If I don't think they're getting the right calls, then that's my job -- to protect them. I don't like a couple of calls, I went out and haggled with the calls. I told the players they're not here for me; I'm here for them. That's my job."

If he gets fined, Guillen said so be it.

"I'm going to contribute to major league baseball with a lot of money," he said. "I've got $100,000 on the side to keep paying."

Twins rookie Nick Blackburn allowed two runs and seven hits in five innings.

"There were times out there that I felt pretty comfortable and was able to get my mind back right," he said. "But I was struggling to hit spots and it was just a tough battle today."


  • The White Sox honored the victims of the Northern Illinois shootings by showing their pictures on the scoreboard during a pre-game moment of silence.
  • One day after making his major league debut, Minnesota's Denard Span got his first major league hit when he led off the third by lining a single to left.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Joe Crede watches his grand slam take flight in the seventh inning against the Twins.  (Getty Images)
Joe Crede watches his grand slam take flight in the seventh inning against the Twins. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game

J. Crede
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

M. Lamb
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

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Minnesota Twins
Carlos Gomez, CF5110023 .333
Denard Span, RF3110101 .200
Joe Mauer, C4011010 .308
Justin Morneau, 1B3010101 .222
Delmon Young, LF4011012 .290
Jason Kubel, DH4110012 .227
Brendan Harris, 2B3110012 .263
Mike Lamb, 3B4022000 .167
Adam Everett, SS3000022 .125
   a- Matt Tolbert, PH1010000 .500
a-singled for Everett in the 9th
2B - Brendan Harris (3, Vazquez), Mike Lamb 2 (3, Vazquez, Vazquez)
SH - Brendan Harris (1)
RBI - Joe Mauer (5), Delmon Young (2), Mike Lamb 2 (3)
SB - Carlos Gomez (5, 2nd base off Vazquez/Pierzynski), Denard Span (1, 2nd base off Vazquez/Pierzynski)
Team LOB - 6
Minnesota Twins
Nick Blackburn 5722250 2.25
Matt Guerrier (H,2; L,0-1) 1.1122210 5.40
Pat Neshek (BS,1) 0.2333011 6.75
Juan Rincon 1000010 6.00
Pitches-Strikes - Nick Blackburn 90-62, Matt Guerrier 31-17, Pat Neshek 16-11, Juan Rincon 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Blackburn 6-4, Pat Neshek 1-0, Juan Rincon 1-1
Batters Faced - Nick Blackburn 24, Matt Guerrier 7, Pat Neshek 5, Juan Rincon 3
Chicago White Sox
Nick Swisher, CF4111111 .261
Orlando Cabrera, SS5010002 .179
Jim Thome, DH4111121 .179
Paul Konerko, 1B4110022 .208
Jermaine Dye, RF4121012 .429
A.J. Pierzynski, C4010014 .458
Carlos Quentin, LF3110112 .316
Joe Crede, 3B4224001 .393
Juan Uribe, 2B3010101 .217
2B - Nick Swisher (1, Blackburn), Joe Crede (2, Blackburn)
HR - Joe Crede (2, Neshek)
RBI - Nick Swisher (3), Jim Thome (6), Jermaine Dye (4), Joe Crede 4 (10)
2-OUT RBI - Joe Crede 4 (5)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Cabrera-Uribe-Konerko, Cabrera-Uribe-Konerko
Chicago White Sox
Javier Vazquez (W,1-1) 7733180 5.25
Scott Linebrink 1211100 2.25
Bobby Jenks (S,4) 1100000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 98-67, Scott Linebrink 25-18, Bobby Jenks 9-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 3-9, Scott Linebrink 2-1, Bobby Jenks 2-0
Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 28, Scott Linebrink 6, Bobby Jenks 3
Game Information
Attendance - 38082
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 53
Umpires - Home - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Ed Montague, Third Base - Jerry Layne