The announced opening day crowd of over 40,000 was a bit misleading thanks in part heavy rainfall that held up the start time, causing an hour and a half rain delay.
The Sox finally took the field, and unlike the past three games, played flawless baseball. Loaiza held a pitching clinic through the first four-plus innings, giving up no hits before giving up a one-out, Carlos Pena double down the right-field line in the fifth. His bid for a shutout was lost soon after with a two-run homer by third baseman Eric Munson.
Third baseman Joe Crede was the offensive star of the game, going 2-4 with two RBIs, both coming from his home run in the second. Crede, 24, is 7-for-15 (.467) this season with a home run, two RBI and three doubles.
The Sox scored the fourth run in the second with a D'Angelo Jimenez triple, scoring Aaron Rowand. That took Tigers' starter Nate Cornejo out of the game for knuckle-baller Steve Sparks.
The Sox added the fifth and final run in the sixth with an RBI-double by Rowand, scoring Crede. That put the Sox up 5-2 and would eventually be the final score.
Loaiza was pulled after issuing a two out walk in the seventh, but reliever Kelly Wunsch lasted only one batter, walking Munson. Gary Glover came in to end the inning and throw a quick, six-pitch eighth. Glover has not given up a run in three innings of relief. Billy Koch picked up the save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Loaiza struck out five, walked three and gave up three hits while throwing 100 pitches.
Offensively, the Sox had 10 hits and left six men on base. Paul Konerko was the only Sox' hitter who was hitless, going 0-4. Rowand went 2-4 out of eight-spot and Miguel Olivo was at catcher, going 1-3 and throwing his second base-stealer in his two starts. Carlos Lee (LF), Jimenez, Ordonez and Valentin each went went 1-4. Designated hitter Frank Thomas went 1-3.
Game two of the three-game set will be Saturday afternoon at 1:05 CT as Mark Buehrle will take the mound against 25-year-old lefty Mike Maroth. The game will be televised on WGN.