DETROIT -- Jim Thome again provided the Chicago White Sox with power, and for a change his teammates gave him some help.
Thome and Joe Crede hit two-run homers and Paul Konerko added a solo shot, leading Chicago to a 5-3 victory yesterday in the Detroit Tigers' home opener.
When Thome made it 2-all in the third with his fourth home run, he remained the only White Sox player to clear the fences this season. In the sixth, Crede ended the non-Thome homer drought and put the White Sox ahead. Konerko restored their two-run lead in the eighth.
''I knew we were going to hit," said Freddy Garcia, who gave up three runs and five hits over six innings for his 100th win. ''We have a great lineup."
Thome, who has been used solely as a designated hitter, was acquired from Philadelphia in November for outfielder Aaron Rowand and two pitchers. Thome hit just seven homers in 59 games last season, limited by elbow and back injuries.
''As long as Jim is healthy, we know he can help this ballclub," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. ''Being a DH will help him because it keeps him out of the field."
The last time the White Sox played at
''I think that game set everything up for the playoffs," Guillen said. ''People were talking a lot of stuff about us, about how we choke, but after we clinched here, it took a lot of pressure off the players."
Garcia (1-1) bounced back with a solid outing after allowing seven runs and nine hits over four innings in his first start, a loss to Cleveland.
Chicago has won two straight after losing four in a row.
Jeremy Bonderman (1-1) allowed four runs and six hits in seven innings for the Tigers. Detroit has lost two straight following a 5-0 start under new manager Jim Leyland.
''It was a good ballgame -- just a bad outcome," Leyland said.
Leyland, who led Florida to the 1997 World Series title and was a two-time NL manager of the Year in Pittsburgh, is back in the dugout for the first time since quitting in Colorado following the 1999 season.
His 15th season as a major league manager is with the Tigers, who signed him as a minor league catcher in 1963 and he began his career in the dugout in 1971 with Detroit's farm team in the Appalachian League.
After Sparky Anderson chose to not include Leyland on his coaching staff in the late 1970s, Leyland left to be the White Sox third-base coach in 1982. A Comerica Park-record crowd of 44,179 gave him perhaps the loudest pregame ovation.
Detroit went ahead, 2-0, on Craig Monroe's two-run homer in the second inning, one pitch after Carlos Guillen walked. Thome tied the game in the third with a two-run shot.