Thomas and Gonzalez win over home fans

When Frank Thomas last played at Comiskey Park, he was the target of harsh fan criticism.

Juan Gonzalez started his career in Detroit on the wrong foot, sitting out the opener at Comerica Park because of a sore hamstring.

Both went a long way to winning their fans back on Friday.

Gonzalez, the key to the Tigers' offseason as they built a team for their new stadium, hit the first home run in Comerica Park history as Detroit beat Tampa Bay 10-5.

"It's exciting for me. The first home run in Comerica Park and we win. It's very important," Gonzalez said. "Everyone was waiting for the first home run in the park. It's special."

Gonzalez's three-run homer in a four-run third against Ryan Rupe (0-2) was the first in four games at the Tigers' new home. Of the 13 other major league ballparks that opened since 1989, none took more than three games for its first long ball.

While Gonzalez is trying to impress new fans, Thomas is getting back into the good graces of Chicago's followers.

Buoyed by a warm reception at Comiskey Park, Thomas responded with a first-inning homer to extend his season-opening hitting streak to 11 games as the Chicago White Sox won their home opener, beating Anaheim 9-4.

"My last at-bat here last year was not too nice. I got booed out of the stadium," Thomas said of a second straight sub-par year ended by September ankle surgery.

But on Friday night when he headed to the first-base line to be introduced, the fans greeted him with cheers. Just like old times.

"I got a big ovation and that kind of surprised me a little. I thought it would be mixed," Thomas said. "That made me feel better. I didn't know what to expect."

In other American League games, it was Texas 7, Cleveland 2; Oakland 13, Boston 6; Seattle 11, Toronto 9; the Yankees 7, Kansas City 5; and Minnesota 10, Baltimore 9.

Thomas, bothered by the sore right foot and ankle that required a cortisone injection earlier this week, reached out and hit a first-inning pitch from Ken Hill (1-2) nearly 400 feet (120 meters) to right-centre field for his third homer, limping noticeably as he rounded the bases.

He later added a single to finish 2-for-4. Paul Konerko also homered and had an RBI double and Ray Durham drove in three runs for the White Sox, off to their best start since also going 7-4 in 1992.

Mike Sirotka (2-1) allowed one run in 5 1-3 innings.

At Detroit, Gonzalez provided the key hit for the second straight game. He returned to the starting lineup Thursday for the first time since opening day and had an RBI double that led to a 2-0 win over Seattle.

He added two more doubles Friday, leaving him 5-for-7 with a homer, three doubles and four RBIs the last two nights.

"Juan changes the complexion of the lineup," teammate Brad Ausmus said. "When you put him in the middle of the lineup it forces managers to think ahead and behind him."

Rangers 7, Indians 2

Rick Helling (2-0) shut down Cleveland on four hits in eight innings, and David Segui, Rafael Palmeiro and Ivan Rodriguez homered as Texas soured opening day at Jacobs Field.

Omar Vizquel hit a two-run homer for the Indians. Dave Burba (1-1) took the loss.

Yankees 7, Royals 5

At New York, Roger Clemens (1-1) became the first Yankees starter other than Orlando Hernandez to win. Clemens allowed five runs, seven hits and four walks in six innings.

Jorge Posada hit a two-run homer in the second, Ricky Ledee put the Yankees ahead 3-2 with an RBI double in the third and Bernie Williams chased Jay Witasick (0-3) with a two-run double in the fourth.

Athletics 13, Red Sox 6

Eric Chavez hit a grand slam off Brian Rose (0-2) as Oakland scored six runs in the first inning to hand Boston its first home loss.

Kevin Appier (2-1) allowed three earned runs and eight hits in six innings, striking out six to win his second consecutive start. Frank Menechino and Jason Giambi also homered for the A's.

Giambi pulled up lame running out an RBI groundout in the seventh inning. He has a hyperextended right knee and a hamstring injury.

Mariners 11, Blue Jays 9

At Toronto, Edgar Martinez hit a three-run homer as Seattle scored six runs in the first inning to knock out David Wells, who matched the shortest start of his career.

Dan Wilson also hit a three-run homer in the first off Wells (1-1). Jamie Moyer (2-1) allowed four runs and nine hits in five innings.

Twins 10, Orioles 9

Cal Ripken moved within three hits of 3,000, but host Minnesota rallied for six runs in the eighth inning.

Ripken went 1-for-4 with a sacrifice fly and Mike Bordick, Jeff Conine and Delino DeShields homered off Eric Milton.

Minnesota, however, snapped a five-game losing streak when Matthew LeCroy and Torii Hunter hit two-run doubles in the eighth.

Mark Redman (1-0) got the win and Eddie Guardado earned the save. Buddy Groom (0-1) took loss.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea