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This game had all the makings of a classic White Sox season opener when James Shields fell behind 4-0 after four batters — three sharp singles, then a Lucas Duda three-run bomb. On the other side, Danny Duffy faced just one over the minimum through three innings.
Then the White Sox scored the next 14 runs, making it a different kind of classic.
Shields came away the winning pitcher, and rather comfortably. He settled down to throw five scoreless innings while the offense jumped Duffy with a three-homer, five-run fourth, which gave the Sox a lead they never relinquished.
First, he followed up Jose Abreu’s two-run shot off Duffy in the fourth with a laser of his own, narrowing the game to 4-3. An inning later, he crushed a solo shot off Blaine Boyer to make it a 6-5 game.
Davidson worked a walk in the seventh inning that interrupted his power surge, yet it still started a three-run seventh. Undeterred, he capped off the scoring with a three-run homer in the eighth, giving the Sox two touchdowns and two extra points on the day.
And to think — he was about 10 feet from a second-inning homer that died on the warning track just inside the right-field foul pole. So it wasn’t a perfect Opening Day, but it was close: 3-for-4, three homers, a walk, four runs scored and five RBIs.
Up until the third homer, Tim Anderson was running neck-and-neck with Davidson.
Anderson tied the game with the Sox’ third homer off Duffy in the fourth. After Davidson blasted Boyer in the fifth, so did Anderson for another two runs. He even drew a walk off Burch Smith, giving him some needed early separation between his batting average and OBP. Alas, while Davidson homered in the eighth, Anderson could only fly out to right.
All that support gave Shields a win, which seemed rather unlikely after a 35-pitch first. He came off the mound appearing to tell Welington Castillo that he wasn’t going to bother nibbling against an aggressive Royals team on a cold day, and it paid off.
- First inning: 1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 35 pitches
- After: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 52 pitches
He gave way to Gregory Infante and Luis Avilan for an inning apiece, and Juan Minaya and Aaron Bummer teamed up for the ninth.
*After being denied a bases-loaded walk in the seventh, Yolmer Sanchez slashed a full-count, three-run single thanks to a huge jump by Anderson.
*Adam Engel’s hot March survived the shift from the desert. He went 2-for-3 with a double, two walks and a strikeout.
*Moncada committed the game’s only error, and it was an odd one. He made a leaping snare on a Duda liner, but dropped the ball on the exchange as he came down. Not sure it was an out, Moncada recovered and threw the ball to first, where Jose Abreu wasn’t covering since he didn’t need to be there. Mike Moustakas, who was on second, advanced to third on the play, and came around to score an unearned run.
*The White Sox didn’t use a mound visit until Minaya started the ninth with five straight pitches out of the zone.
*Take a look at the tags below. As the season goes on, the plan is that these tags will be able to trace games featuring esoteric events such as errors, TOOTBLANs, and other notable occurrences.
Record: 1-0 | Box score