- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 11, 2009

CHICAGO (AP) - Joe Crede can forget about hearing cheers at U.S. Cellular Field again after this performance.

Crede homered against his former team, Justin Morneau also went deep and Minnesota beat the Chicago White Sox 12-5 Friday night, spoiling Jose Contreras’ comeback from an Achilles’ injury.

Minnesota was leading 4-3 when Morneau homered off Clayton Richard to start a seven-run seventh, sending the Twins to a lopsided win in the first meeting since Chicago’s 1-0 victory last year in a tiebreaker for the AL Central title.

Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin homered for the White Sox, but Contreras (0-1) struggled in his first start since he tore his left Achilles’ tendon covering first against Boston on Aug. 9.

Crede, however, provided a big spark.

Just 3-for-16 in the first four games, he led off the second by driving a pitch from Contreras into the left-field bullpen to make it 2-0.

“It’s kind of nice to see a smile on his face,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He was pretty happy. … For him to put a swing like that, that was huge.”

With that big rip, the crowd immediately turned against Crede after giving him a standing ovation when he stepped to the plate and cheering during introductions.

“A lot of fans over there above the dugout were saying, ‘That’s the last time you’re going to get cheered here _ just wait ‘til you start hitting,’” Crede said. “And it came true.”

The White Sox tied it in the bottom of the second on Josh Fields’ two-run single and took a 3-2 lead on Konerko’s homer in the third, but Contreras couldn’t hold it.

RBI singles in the fourth and fifth by Denard Span and Morneau gave the Twins a 4-3 lead, and they broke it open in the seventh against Richard, Mike MacDougal and D.J. Carrasco.

Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (1-0) was shaky but got the win, allowing three runs in five innings. Brian Duensing pitched three innings in his major league debut, allowing Quentin’s two-run homer. But while a blowout developed, comebacks were the focus.

The fact that Contreras took the mound so soon was remarkable, considering he was coming off a career-threatening injury.

He had just been activated after spending three weeks on the disabled list with right elbow tendinitis when he went down against Boston. He underwent surgery two days later, and the White Sox did not expect him back until at least midseason _ if at all.

Instead, he showed up to spring training in good shape and earned a spot in the rotation.

“When you think about that injury he had, the way I look at it is it’s just a victory to have him out there,” Konerko said.

Angels 6, Red Sox 3

At Anaheim, Calif., Jered Weaver struck out eight in a strong season debut for the grief-stricken Angels, still mourning the shocking death of rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart.

The 22-year-old Adenhart and two of his friends were killed when their car was broadsided early Thursday in a crash caused by a suspected drunk driver.

Weaver (1-0) reached down with his finger and sketched Adenhart’s initials in the dirt on the mound, then allowed only an unearned run in 6 2-3 innings. Scot Shields got four outs for his first save this season.

Boston’s Tim Wakefield (0-1) gave up three runs, six hits and five walks in six innings.

Yankees 4, Royals 1

At Kansas City, Mo., Andy Pettitte (1-0) gave up three hits in seven innings and Jorge Posada hit a two-run single, carrying New York in the opener of renovated Kauffman Stadium.

Brian Bruney pitched a hitless eighth, and Mariano Rivera struck out two for the save.

Sidney Ponson (0-1), who made 15 starts for New York last year, gave up four runs for KC.

Tigers 15, Rangers 2

At Detroit, Miguel Cabrera hit a grand slam and matched his career high with six RBIs, and the Tigers snapped the Rangers’ season-opening three-game win streak.

Armando Galarraga (1-0) struck out a career-high eight against his former team.

Kris Benson (0-1) who allowed seven earned runs and 10 hits in five innings, in his first game since Sept. 27, 2006.

Orioles 5, Rays 4

At Baltimore, Melvin Mora drove in three runs, Mark Hendrickson (1-0) won in his Baltimore debut and the Orioles ended a run of 12 straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Evan Longoria hit two homers and drove in three runs for the Rays, while Andy Sonnanstine (0-1) allowed five runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings.

Blue Jays 13, Indians 7

At Cleveland, Marco Scutaro’s bloop RBI single brought home the go-ahead run in Toronto’s six-run eighth inning against Cleveland, which followed a nearly 4-hour rain delay.

Brandon League (1-0) got the win, while Rafael Perez (0-1) took the loss.

Mariners 5, Athletics 4

At Oakland, Calif., Endy Chavez had three hits and two RBIs, and Seattle ended a four-game losing streak in Oakland.

Chris Jakubauskas (1-0) pitched two innings in relief of Ryan Rowland-Smith to earn his first major league victory. David Aardsma got six outs for the save.

Brett Anderson (0-1) allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings in his big league debut.

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