White Sox 8, Red Sox 7
Contreras pitched six innings on Friday night to lead the White Sox to an 8-7 victory—his first in six outings against the Red Sox.
“It’s a big relief,” Contreras said through an interpreter. “It’s the best outing I’ve ever had in Boston.”
The Yankees and Red Sox got into a bidding war for Contreras’ services in the winter of 2003 before he signed with New York. Contreras (10-5) was 0-4 with a 16.43 ERA against Boston before Friday, when he allowed four runs and four hits.
The White Sox took a 2-0 lead in the second, but the Red Sox scored three times in the bottom of the inning to take a 3-2 lead. Bill Mueller hit a run-scoring double, Doug Mirabelli had an RBI single, and with the bases loaded, Contreras walked Doug Mientkiewicz to force in a run to give Boston the lead. He struck out Manny Ramirez swinging to end the threat.
“I want the kid to have success and he’s had no success against them,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “I think the kid is in heaven now.”
Aiding Contreras’ cause was Aaron Rowand, who had his first two-homer game— both coming off Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield (8-7) who surrendered six homers in his last start on Aug. 8 in Detroit—and tied his career-high with four RBIs.
“I thought his knuckleball was much better tonight, but he left a couple up,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “The long ball has been hurting him for sure.”
Ramirez and Kevin Millar homered for the Red Sox, whose three-game winning streak ended.
Wakefield gave up a one-out homer in the seventh to Rowand to give the White Sox a 5-4 lead.
Davis singled in two runs in the eighth to make it 8-5.
Takatsu issued a one-out walk to Ortiz in the ninth and Millar followed with a two-run homer before Takatsu got the last two outs for his 11th save in 12 chances.
Contreras took a 4-3 lead into the fifth before surrendering a solo homer to Ramirez. It was Ramirez’s 29th homer and the 376th of his career, tying him for 54th on the all-time list with Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk.
The White Sox took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Carl Everett singled, Jose Valentin hit a ground-rule double and Rowand hit an RBI single. Davis then hit a routine double-play grounder to short, but second baseman Mueller made a costly throwing error that allowed Valentin to score.
Wakefield gave up a two-run homer to Rowand in the fourth to put the White Sox back on top 4-3.
Contreras last faced Boston as a member of the Yankees on July 25, when he gave up eight runs in 5 1-3 innings and took the loss as the Red Sox beat New York 9-6.