American League Game Summary - Minnesota at Chicago
(Monday, March 31st)
Final Score: Chicago 5, Minnesota 3
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Alejandro De Aza stroked two home runs as the Chicago White Sox defeated the Minnesota Twins, 5-3, on Opening Day for both teams.
De Aza's two-run blast in the second inning and solo shot in the sixth made him the first White Sox player to homer twice on Opening Day since Jim Thome in 2008 at Cleveland.
Jose Abreu and Adam Dunn each drove in a run for the White Sox, who featured its first Opening Day lineup in 16 years that did not include first baseman Paul Konerko. Abreu, who signed a six-year, $68 million deal in the offseason, also doubled in his major league debut.
Chris Sale (1-0) recorded eight strikeouts and surrendered three runs on five hits in 7 1/3 innings of work. The left-hander finished fifth in the AL Cy Young Award voting last season. Matt Lindstrom picked up the save after allowing one hit and fanning a batter in a scoreless ninth.
"It's a big deal because of what last year was," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of the win.
Chicago lost 99 games last season after finishing second in the AL Central in 2012.
Kurt Suzuki went 2-for-4 with three RBI for Minnesota, which dropped its sixth straight road opener. Chris Colabello and Aaron Hicks also supplied two hits apiece.
Ricky Nolasco (0-1) was reached for five runs on 10 hits with two walks and four strikeouts. He made his third Opening Day start after signing a four-year contract with the Twins in December.
Abreu stroked a sharp line drive to right for a double to leadoff the second. After Nolasco issued a walk to Dunn, Garcia grounded into a double play. Abreu moved over to third on the play and the next batter De Aza launched the ball into the right-field seats to give the White Sox the early lead.
The Twins responded with two runs of their own in the next inning. Oswaldo Arcia walked and Aaron Hicks singled to left before Pedro Florimon's sac bunt moved them each over a base. Suzuki then hit a line-drive single to left that brought them home to knot the game at two.
Adam Eaton singled and Conor Gillaspie doubled to put runners on second and third in the bottom half of the third. Abreu's single to left brought Eaton home and Dunn's sac fly in foul territory brought Gillaspie around to beat the throw at home as the White Sox regained the lead.
De Aza added to the lead after he drove a line drive over the fence in right for his second blast of the day, making it a 5-2 game in the bottom of the sixth.
Sale retired the next 10 batters until Hicks smacked a line drive over the glove of Gillaspie at third into the left-field corner for a double. Sale stayed in to strike out pinch-hitter Eduardo Escobar before being lifted with one out in the eighth.
Ronald Belisario entered in relief of Sale. After striking out Dozier, Suzuki's single brought in Hicks from second. Donnie Veal came in and promptly got Joe Mauer to ground out to end the inning.
Matt Lindstrom started the ninth for the White Sox. He got Josh Willingham to fly out to right before Colabello's flyball dropped in right for a double. Lindstrom did not let that rattle him. He fanned Trevor Plouffe and got Arcia to ground out to end the game.
The White Sox are now 63-51 on Opening Day while the Twins are 24-30 ... Minnesota has not won on Opening Day since beating the LA Angels, 3-2, in 2008 ... The Twins went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
04/01 00:09:37 ET