Playoff Series: Game 1 of 3

Chi White Sox won 3-0

Game 1: Tuesday, October 4
Chi White Sox14
Game 2: Wednesday, October 5
Chi White Sox5
Game 3: Friday, October 7
Chi White Sox5Final

4:00 PM ET, October 4, 2005

U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois 

123456789 R H E
BOS 000200000 2 9 0
CWS 50120402 - 14 11 1

W: J. Contreras (1-0)

L: M. Clement (0-1)

White Sox hit five HRs in rout of Red Sox

CHICAGO (AP) -- The winning socks came from the White Sox. Now, maybe it's their turn to end a long championship drought.

Game 1 Breakdown
Unsung Hero
Jose Contreras. In a game dominated by the White Sox's offense, Contreras did his part by holding down the high-powered Red Sox lineup. Contreras pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowing just two runs while also pinning an 0-for-4 game on Manny Ramirez.

Matt Clement. Boston's starter got off on the wrong foot right from the outset as he hit Scott Podsednik with his first pitch of the game. In all, Clement gave up eight runs on seven hits, including three home runs, in just 3 1/3 innings.

Turning Point
The bottom of the first inning. Along with hitting Podsednik with a pitch, Clement also hit Jermaine Dye. Clement also allowed three straight hits in the inning, the last of which was a three-run homer by A.J. Pierzynski, giving the White Sox a 5-0 lead.

Important Stat
The 14 runs scored by the White Sox were their highest offensive output since July 25 against the Royals. Four players went deep five times, and six had at least one RBI. Hitting (like winning) is contagious, and that kind of balance bodes well for the ChiSox, whose pitching has been lights out lately.

On Deck
Game 2 is Wednesday in Chicago, with a pair of lefties on the bump. David Wells gets the call for Boston and will square off against Mark Buehrle. Wells thrives in big games, and the Red Sox need him to stop the bleeding. Buehrle won 16 games and was 10-2 with a 2.48 ERA at home during the regular season.

A.J. Pierzynski homered twice, Paul Konerko, Juan Uribe and even Scott Podsednik also connected, and Chicago scored five times in the first inning Tuesday en route to a 14-2 rout of the World Series champion Red Sox in their playoff opener.

Jose Contreras pitched effectively into the eighth inning, ending Boston's eight-game postseason winning streak that carried the team to its first title in 86 years last season.

The White Sox hope to end a drought that's even longer, dating way back to the days of Shoeless Joe Jackson and their most recent World Series crown in 1917, the last time they won any playoff series at all.

One sign in the stands summed up hopes on the South Side:

"2004: Their Sox. 2005: Our Sox."

Then again, Boston has done fine overcoming October deficits. The Red Sox rallied from 3-0 down to beat the New York Yankees in the AL championship series last year before sweeping St. Louis in the World Series for their first title since 1918.

Game 2 in the best-of-five series is Wednesday at U.S. Cellular Field with Chicago's Mark Buehrle facing Boston's David Wells.

The White Sox got their first playoff victory since 1993 with a stunning display of power.

Pierzynski's three-run homer off Matt Clement capped Chicago's first-inning outburst and sent a raucous, towel-waving crowd of 40,717 into delirium.

Konerko added a solo shot in the third and Uribe a two-run drive to finish Clement in the fourth. Podsednik, Chicago's speedy leadoff hitter who didn't have a homer all season, hit a three-run shot off Jeremi Gonzalez in the sixth. Pierzynski connected again in the eighth.

Contreras, who was 2-4 with an 11.67 ERA in his career against the Red Sox, allowed eight hits and two runs in 7 2/3 innings in his first playoff start.

Clement, who lost three of his final five regular-season starts, struggled with his control at the outset, hitting Podsednik and Jermaine Dye with pitches.

Podsednik stole third and after Konerko sent a long drive to left that was foul, he put the White Sox ahead with an RBI grounder to third.

Carl Everett followed with a single before Aaron Rowand sent an RBI single over shortstop for a 2-0 lead. The din increased moments later when Pierzynski, a veteran of playoff games with Minnesota, lined his three-run homer to left-center.

Trot Nixon singled in the fourth and, after Jason Varitek dropped down a bunt for another hit, Chicago third baseman Joe Crede kicked the ball as he was trying to pick it up and both runners advanced on the error.

Contreras, who tied teammate Freddy Garcia with an AL-leading 20 wild pitches this season, unleashed another as Nixon scored. Kevin Millar followed with a double to right and the Red Sox were seemingly back in the game at 6-2.

But Chicago second baseman Tadahito Ighuchi made a heads-up play on Bill Mueller's grounder, making a rare throw from second to third to cut down Millar and douse the rally.

And after Pierzynski doubled to start the fourth, Uribe drove a pitch over the fence in left, giving the White Sox a six-run cushion and finishing Clement's miserable day after just 3 1/3 innings.

Uribe had an RBI single in the sixth before Podsednik connected.

Pierzynski hit his second homer off Bronson Arroyo. He is the second White Sox player to homer twice in a postseason game, joining Ted Kluszewski, who hit two against the Dodgers in Game 1 of the 1959 World Series.

Pinch-hitter Willie Harris added an RBI single in the eighth.

Game notes

Injured White Sox star Frank Thomas threw out the first pitch and got a rousing ovation. ... Umpire Larry Vanover, scheduled to work first base in the opener, was replaced by Mark Carlson. Vanover has a bad back. Carlson umpired third and Bill Miller switched from third to first. ... The White Sox got their first playoff victory at U.S. Cellular Field, which opened as new Comiskey Park in 1991. They lost three games at home to Toronto in the 1993 ALCS and two to Seattle in the 2000 ALDS. It was their first home playoff win since Game 1 of the 1959 World Series. ... The Red Sox are in the playoffs as the AL wild card for the third straight year. They've qualified as a wild card five times overall. ... Pierzynski has four career postseason homers. ... The five-run first matched the second-biggest inning in White Sox postseason history. The biggest came in the '59 World Series when the White Sox scored seven times in third inning of Game 1. ... Manny Ramirez's 17-game postseason hitting streak was snapped.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press