The divisional championship season begins 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, compiling 94 victories. Jack McDowell picked up the first of his 22 wins on the year in a six-inning effort.
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.
After starting the season 0-3, the White Sox win two and then pull back to .500 with a crazy win over the Tigers, ensuring a sweep. Detroit led, 2-1, in the eighth when Chicago ran off nine runs to pull ahead by the eventual final of 10-2.
The nine Sox runs were scored on just four hits; Magglio Ordoñez had the first hit of the inning (single) and the last (three-run homer).
For Detroit, the loss made them the first team in 40 years to start two seasons in a row with an 0-6 record.