Contreras wins 17th straight

Contreras wins 17th straight

By The Associated Press

CHICAGO – Jose Contreras knows he is going to lose one of these days. He’s still going to enjoy his streak as long as it goes.

Contreras easily won his 17th straight decision and Juan Uribe hit a three-run homer and drove in five runs to help the Chicago White Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 13-0 Tuesday.

Contreras (9-0) pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings and left to a loud ovation from White Sox fans. He allowed six hits and struck out three without allowing a walk. His last regular-season loss was Aug. 15 against the Twins. During his streak, Contreras has a 2.86 ERA in 23 starts.

“You are going to lose one day, that’s just part of (the game). But when I go out to the mound I always think in my head and my heart that I’m going to win,” Contreras said through an interpreter. “Wouldn’t it be great if I never lost? That would make for some story. The loss is going to come, hopefully later than sooner.”

Contreras is tied with Johan Santana for the second-longest streak in baseball over the last 20 years.

Contreras was 5-0 in his first six starts with a 1.41 ERA, but has struggled since returning from the disabled list with a pinched nerve in his right hip. Since May 21, Contreras has received a decision in only three of his eight starts and has a 5.37 ERA in those games.

But after an intense bullpen session on Saturday, Contreras was able to eliminate a three-quarter arm angle release that White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper believed led to the pitcher’s recent troubles.

“He just dropped down more, instead of being three-quarters he went full sidearm,” catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “When he’s done that he’s been successful and that’s what made him successful last year when he started doing it.”

The Orioles couldn’t manage to get much going against Contreras.

“He’s got a bunch of different arm angles and his ball was moving. He’s probably one of the most dominating pitchers going,” Kevin Millar said.

The White Sox have won 20 of their last 27 games.

Paul Konerko hit a three-run homer in the third inning and Uribe went 3-for-5, falling a triple short of the cycle. Uribe is 11-for-28 in his last eight games with three home runs and 17 RBIs.

“When he gets hot he gets real hot,” Konerko said. “If you get production from the bottom of the lineup like we’re getting it could be tough on other teams.”

The White Sox, who only had two hits in Monday’s 8-1 loss to Baltimore, roughed up Orioles starter Rodrigo Lopez.

Uribe failed to get a bunt down with two runners on in the second inning and instead hit an 0-2 pitch from Lopez into the stands in left for a three-run homer. It was Uribe’s 11th of the season and put the White Sox up 4-0.

The White Sox added seven more runs in the third inning. Brian Anderson hit a two-run double and Konerko also hit his 21st homer of the season.

Lopez (5-10) gave up nine runs and 10 hits in just 2 2-3 innings for the Orioles, who have lost 24 of their last 35 on the road.

“I guess I wasn’t making the pitches. I left the ball up a little bit,” Lopez said.

Uribe drove in his fifth run of the game with an RBI single in the seventh to make it 13-0.