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Indians lose home opener

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The sun was shining brightly, and the wind was
roaring directly at home plate. Not ideal conditions. Not against
Freddy Garcia.

Garcia, who went 9-0 in day games last season, dominated
Cleveland for eight innings and Scott Podsednik drove in the
go-ahead run in the seventh on Monday to lead the Chicago White Sox
to a 2-1 victory, spoiling the Indians' home opener at Jacobs
Field.

Garcia (1-0) held Cleveland to one run and four hits and the
White Sox improved to 3-1 against the Indians this season. The
right-hander didn't allow a hit after the third, retiring 16 of the
last 17.

"He had everything working, including the wind blowing in,"
White Sox catcher Chris Widger said. "We played to that."

Garcia made very few mistakes, and on one hanging curveball to
Travis Hafner, the right-hander got an unexpected assist. Hafner
ripped a shot to right-center that appeared destined for the lower
seats only to have it flattened by the wind.

"Hafner just hammered it and it fell 25 feet short," Widger
said. "We were laughing at that one."

Garcia knew he had gotten away with one.

"It was a fly out, that's all," Garcia said, chuckling.

Last season, Garcia became just the seventh pitcher since 1971
to go 9-0 or better in the daylight. He was only 4-11 in night
games, but is now unbeaten in day games since losing on Sept. 3,
2003, in Baltimore.

"I have to do my job either way," he said. "I've been unlucky
at night and good in day games."

With the White Sox clinging to their 2-1 lead, Damaso Marte was
brought in to start the ninth instead of Shingo Takatsu, who blew a
save last week against Cleveland. Marte, though, walked Hafner with
one out before retiring Victor Martinez. Manager Ozzie Guillen then
went to Takatsu, who struck out Aaron Boone for his third save.

"I can't take the ball out of the kid's hands," Guillen said.

Garcia outdueled Kevin Millwood (0-1), who had a strong home
debut for the Indians. Cleveland signed him to a one-year, $7
million free-agent contract this winter, and for five innings, he
made a nearly perfect first impression on Indians fans.

Millwood allowed just one hit in the first five innings, but
gave up two in the sixth and three more in the seventh.

"I'm not happy with today," said Millwood, who pitched six
scoreless innings in his debut last week but got a no-decision.
"But I'm glad I gave us a chance."

Unable to get anything going against Millwood for five, the
White Sox tied it in the sixth on Carl Everett's RBI single. They
took the lead in the seventh with three two-out singles, the final
one Podsednik's RBI hit to center.

Millwood allowed just a third-inning single before the sixth.
But leading off, Podsednik popped up a bunt toward Millwood, who
misjudged the ball and had it drop behind him for a single.

"I thought it was coming right to me," Millwood said. "I just
locked up."

Podsednik, the NL's steals leader last season for Milwaukee,
swiped second and scored one out later on Everett's single. It was
the first run allowed by Millwood in 11 1-3 innings this season.

Game notes
The Indians are close to finalizing a multiyear contract
with Hafner, who had 109 RBI last season. An announcement is
expected this week. ... Podsednik left after the seventh with a
strained right groin. He doesn't think he'll miss any time. ...
Indians OF Juan Gonzalez hasn't begun playing in games yet at
extended spring training in Florida as he recovers from a strained
hamstring. Manager Eric Wedge has no idea when Gonzalez, who got
hurt in the final week of training camp, might be ready. ... White
Sox SS Juan Uribe was sick and got the day off. ... Cleveland ace
C.C. Sabathia (strained side) will make a minor league start on
Tuesday at Akron (Double-A) and is slated to make his season debut
Sunday against Minnesota. ... Millwood has now pitched in 31
different ballparks. ... Two high school players threw out
ceremonial first pitches. The Indians made a $250,000 donation to
the strapped Cleveland school system to fund the entire baseball
and softball programs. ... Chicago's starters have allowed just 13
earned runs in 48 innings.