The divisional championship season began with a night game in Minnesota, and a big 10-5 win over the Twins. Tim Raines had a three-run home run and scored two runs. The White Sox would wind up winning the division by eight games and compiling 94 victories. Jack McDowell picked up the first of his 22 wins on the year.
Mark Buehrle cruises to an easy win in Kansas City, allowing five hits over six innings of a 14-0 whitewash. Paul Konerko scored three times, and he and Magglio Ordoñez drove in three runs apiece. Down 9-0 to start the eighth inning, the Royals summoned the youngest pitcher in the majors, Miguel Asencio, into the game for his MLB debut. Asencio walked Kenny Lofton on four pitches, then did the same to Ray Durham, Frank Thomas, and Ordoñez. All 16 of Asencio’s pitches were outside the strike zone.
The rookie was removed, replaced by Cory Bailey. Bailey managed to throw a strike — but then walked Konerko to surrender another free run.