for this game

Contreras shuts down Royals

Jun 6, 2008 - 6:48 AM By Gene Chamberlain PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Jose Contreras has been leaving behind the bad memories of 2007 much the same way the Chicago White Sox left behind thoughts of three straight losses last weekend in Tampa.

Contreras held an opponent to one run for the fifth time in his last six outings and the White Sox posted a 6-2 victory on Thursday over the Kansas City Royals to complete a three-game sweep.

"Last year was not only a tough year on the field, but personally it wasn't my best year ever," said Contreras, who went through a rough divorce in 2007, when he also suffered a 10-17 record with a 5.57 ERA. "Personally it wasn't my best year ever. Now my personal life is going a lot better and my pitching obviously is back.

"Now I'm prepared physically and mentally to go out there very day. It's a distant memory."

Contreras (6-3) walked two, struck out three and allowed four hits in seven innings. He was backed by a 10-hit attack, including Jim Thome's second home run in two nights - an opposite field solo home run down the left-field line in the seventh.

"The way he struggled today, I didn't think he was going to make it to the third or fourth inning," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said of Contreras. "All the sudden he started pitching in tough situations. He found the plate maybe a little bit better. I think that confidence level went up another notch."

Contreras found his split-finger fastball was off early, so he went to off-speed pitches and looked for the corners with his fastball to go 4-0 over his last six starts.

"That's the key to success is if you have to rely on one pitch you're not going to win very much in this division," Contreras said.

The Royals' only run off Contreras scored due to an error. Joey Gathright had stolen second in the third inning, then attempted to steal third. Catcher Toby Hall's perfect throw went right past Pablo Ozuna, who was starting for the injured Joe Crede, and Gathright got up on the error and came home.

The White Sox had no trouble overcoming that behind RBI hits from Orlando Cabrera, Nick Swisher, Alexei Ramirez and Thome.

"Guys are attacking pitches and putting good swings on the ball," Guillen said. "Everything came together and it's always someone different. I know we're going to struggle again, but hopefully we can win as long as we can."

The White Sox are fourth in home runs (71) in the majors but only three teams had lower batting averages than their .248 mark coming into Thursday. Their inability to bunch together hits proved a big problem at Tampa and led to Guillen's post-game explosion Sunday.

However, they bunched together four hits to score four runs in the second inning against losing pitcher Gil Meche (3-8), a rally started by Thome's single and Jermaine Dye's double. Cabrera's two-out single to right

scored two runs, Swisher's single to center plated one and Ozuna's run-scoring ground out accounted for the other run.

"I think today we were starting to get the hits when we needed it," said Swisher, who has been struggling with a .204 average. "Guys are starting to hit the longball now. Jimmy (Thome) seems like he's hot as a firecracker now."

Sloppy fielding by Kansas City did not hurt Chicago, either.

In the second-inning outburst, Meche failed to come up cleanly with Ozuna's tapper back to the mound and as a result had to take an out at first rather than throw out Swisher coming home from third. Also, the slow-footed Hall scored the second run on Cabrera's single after right fielder David DeJesus failed to cleanly field the ball.

Meche, who threw away a pickoff attempt for an error in the second, made an error on a ball hit by Ozuna in the fourth and eventually it led to a run when Cabrera walked and Alexei Ramirez hit an RBI single to right.

Meche allowed seven hits and four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, while walking four.

"We didn't help ourselves any with the two errors, either," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "He (Meche) didn't throw enough quality pitches when he needed to with runners on base."

Kansas City 's Mark Teahen homered for the third straight game in the ninth off Chicago reliever Nick Masset.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    KANSAS CITY 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 6 2
    CHI WHITE SOX 0 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 x 6 10 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: KAN - GIL MECHE, JOEL PERALTA (6TH) AND MIGUEL OLIVO
    CHA - JOSE CONTRERAS, MATT THORNTON (8TH), NICK MASSET
    (9TH) AND TOBY HALL

    HOME RUNS: KAN - MARK TEAHEN (6) O

    Jun 5 10:56 PM


  • AL
    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MARK TEAHEN (6) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    9TH OFF NICK MASSET.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2, CHI WHITE SOX 6
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: A CALLASPO (.286, 1-FOR-3)

    Royals 2, White Sox 6  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 5 10:51 PM


  • AL
    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JIM THOME (12) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF JOEL PERALTA.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 1, CHI WHITE SOX 6
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: J DYE (.282, 1-FOR-3)

    Royals 1, White Sox 6  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 5 10:26 PM
  • 5
    roots
    undertaker Added 5 roots

    Royals 1, White Sox 5  Bot 6, 0 OutsJun 5 10:03 PM


  • AL
    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALEXEI RAMIREZ SCORED PABLO OZUNA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RAMIREZ ON FIRST, O CABRERA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 1
    CHI WHITE SOX 5 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: C QUENTIN (.290, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Royals 1, White Sox 5  Bot 4, 0 OutsJun 5 9:37 PM


  • AL
    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY PABLO OZUNA ALLOWED JOEY GATHRIGHT TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D DEJESUS ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 1
    CHI WHITE SOX 4 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M GRUDZIELANEK (.293, 0-FOR-1)

    Royals 1, White Sox 4  Top 3, 0 OutsJun 5 9:03 PM


  • AL
    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ORLANDO CABRERA SCORED NICK SWISHER AND TOBY
    HALL.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, O CABRERA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 0
    CHI WHITE SOX 4 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: A RAMIREZ (.262, 0-FOR-1)

    Royals 0, White Sox 4  Bot 2, 0 OutsJun 5 8:53 PM


  • AL
    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY PABLO OZUNA SCORED JERMAINE DYE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, T HALL ON SECOND, N SWISHER ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 0
    CHI WHITE SOX 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: O CABRERA (.241, 0-FOR-1)

    Royals 0, White Sox 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsJun 5 8:51 PM


  • AL
    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NICK SWISHER SCORED JIM THOME.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N SWISHER ON FIRST, J DYE ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 0
    CHI WHITE SOX 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: T HALL (.372, 0 HR, 2 RBI)

    Royals 0, White Sox 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsJun 5 8:47 PM