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Chicago keeps Detroit and Trammell winless

4/4/2003

CHICAGO (AP) -- So what if their ballpark sported a new name or
the weather was more suited for football? The Chicago White Sox
were just glad to be home.

After three consecutive defeats in Kansas City that included some
dreadful play, the White Sox got the lift they needed Friday.

They got strong pitching from Esteban Loaiza and a homer from
Joe Crede to beat the winless Detroit Tigers 5-2 for their first
victory.

''It's just good to bounce back from the game we played
yesterday,'' Chicago manager Jerry Manuel said of 12-6
defeat Thursday against the Royals that featured four errors and shaky pitching.

Following a two-hour rain delay before the first pitch Friday, the
game-time temperature was 37 degrees -- tying a record set in 1974
for the coldest home opener in White Sox history.

Some players wore hoods to protect their ears in the White Sox's
first home game since the team announced a $68 million naming
rights deal in January that turned Comiskey Park into U.S. Cellular
Field.

''It was a long day for a lot of us, especially in the cold
weather,'' said Loaiza, a non-roster invitee who won a spot in the
rotation with a strong spring training.

Loaiza waited out the rain by listening to music and chatting
with teammates and then went out and pitched 6 2/3 solid innings,
allowing just three hits and two runs.

''Everybody was just glad to get it over,'' said Loaiza, who now
has a 10-3 record in April for his career. ''It was really hard
coming from Tucson with the heat and then to come here and try to
adjust.''

Billy Koch struck out the side in the ninth for his first save.
He blew a save Thursday, allowing four runs without retiring a
batter in a 12-6 defeat against Kansas City, and was booed in pregame
introductions.

''I took the mound with a mission today,'' said Koch, who saved
44 games for Oakland last season. ''I wasn't surprised anyone was
booing, especially after yesterday.''

The White Sox jumped on Detroit starter Nate Cornejo (0-1), who
gave up four runs and six hits in 1 1/3 innings. Magglio Ordonez
had a first-inning run-scoring single, and Joe Crede hit a two-run homer in
the second when D'Angelo Jimenez also delivered a run-scoring
triple.

Aaron Rowand hit a run-scoring double off Steve Sparks to make it 5-2
in the sixth.

''I'm going to ride this out as long as I can because I know
there is a slump waiting around the corner for me,'' said Crede,
who is 7-for-15 with four extra-base hits.

Carlos Pena doubled with one out in the fifth for the Tigers'
first hit off Loaiza, and Eric Munson followed with a two-run homer
to right, snapping Detroit's scoreless streak at 19 innings.

''It would feel a lot better if we'd get some wins. It really
doesn't mean much if we don't hit as a team,'' Munson said.

The two runs matched Detroit's total output in losing its first
three games to the Twins.

''I wish I could tell you all good stuff, that I have a magic
wand, but I don't,'' Tigers rookie manager Alan Trammell said.

''I never like to lose, but panicking? By no means. Whether it's
going to be two more days, one day, a week, I don't know.''

Game notes
Announced attendance was 40,395 but the actual crowd was
much smaller. ...Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was booed when he
was introduced Friday and then drew even louder catcalls after he
bounced the first pitch past the plate. Former Cubs manager Bruce Kimm,
now the White Sox's third-base coach, and reliever Tom Gordon, who
also pitched for the Cubs last season, were booed during pregame
introductions. ... Frank Thomas, who returned to the White Sox
after testing the free agent market in the offseason, was mostly
cheered when introduced. ... Cornejo's 1 1/3 innings matched his
shortest outing as a starter. He also lasted just 1 1/3 against the
White Sox in 2001. ... Loaiza, who pitched the last two years with
the Blue Jays, has been tough on Detroit his entire career. He's
now 7-2 against the Tigers.