Chicago (32-26) posted a 9-5 win over Kansas City (23-36) in Tuesday’s series opener, then came away with a 6-5 victory on Wednesday night on Paul Konerko’s two-run homer in the 15th inning.
“Even if I don’t have the year I want to have, it doesn’t mean I can’t get big hits and do good things,” said Konerko, who has been bothered by a sore hand and was limited to just one home run in his previous 29 games.
Octavio Dotel tossed 2 2-3 innings of scoreless relief for Chicago, and each team used seven pitchers in the four-hour, 23-minute marathon.
The White Sox bullpen, however, received a boost with the re-acquisition of Esteban Loaiza earlier in the day.
The 36-year-old right-hander, who was a 21-game winner for the White Sox in 2003, was cut by the Los Angeles Dodgers last month and signed a one-year deal to be a long reliever and spot starter.
Loaiza was warming up Wednesday and could be used Thursday as Chicago looks to complete its first three-game sweep of Kansas City at U.S. Cellular Field since April 17-19, 2006 behind Contreras, who is 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA in his last five starts.
Contreras (5-3, 2.89 ERA) didn’t receive a decision after limiting Tampa Bay to one run and five hits over seven innings in a 2-1 loss on Friday. It was the fifth time in six starts he had lasted at least seven innings.
The right-hander is 8-4 with a 3.41 ERA in 15 career starts versus the Royals despite going 1-4 with a 5.26 ERA in his last six appearances.
With Wednesday’s win, the White Sox improved to 6-6 since winning a season-high eight straight from May 14-22.
Jim Thome hit his 518th homer Wednesday to move within two of Frank Thomas for 18th place on the all-time list. Joe Crede also went deep before leaving in the 12th inning with a bruised right wrist, but he said X-rays were negative and that he should be fine.
“A couple of nice defensive plays for them and there wasn’t a lot of hitting going on,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said. “Fundamentally we were pretty sound and that kept us in it.”
Meche (3-7, 5.35) looks to help the Royals win away from home for the first time since beating Florida on May 18.
He left without a decision his last time out, giving up three runs and six hits, while striking out six over five innings in Kansas City’s 5-4 loss to visiting Cleveland on Friday.
The right-hander has fared well in his 12 career starts versus the White Sox, going 6-2 with a 4.09 ERA. He allowed two runs - one earned - and four hits over seven innings in 3-2 home win on Sept. 18 - his first decision against them in five starts.
Meche is 3-1 with a 4.70 ERA in seven starts in Chicago, but hasn’t earned a win there since April 17, 2005 with Seattle.