Contreras is out for at least nine months after rupturing his left Achilles’ tendon, Logan gave up four runs in the seventh and the White Sox tumbled out of first place in the AL Central with a 6-2 loss to Boston on Saturday night.
The already-shaky pitching depth of the White Sox took another hit in the second inning when Contreras left the game after crumpling to the attempting to cover first on a grounder. The 36-year-old Contreras limped past first base before clutching his leg and pounding his fist on the ground. He needed help to get off the field.
“It’s a sad day,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Jose is out for a little while, maybe for a year. Those kind of injuries, you don’t know how you’re going to come back. … Hopefully he can pitch again.”
Contreras, 7-6 with a 4.50 ERA, was activated before the game from a 15-day stint on the disabled list with tendinitis in his elbow.
“The worst part is it was very encouraging the way he was throwing the ball,” White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “It looked like he was back to where he needed to be. He was healthy, and his velocity was up and he had a good split.”
The White Sox made two moves right after the game, sending down third baseman Josh Fields and making a trade with Kansas City to acquire left-handed reliever Horacio Ramirez for a minor-league outfielder. Logan was told he would be demoted before Sunday’s game, when Contreras will officially go on the DL.
Ramirez is 1-1 with a 2.59 ERA in 15 appearances with the Royals. He was moved for Single-A outfielder Paulo Orlando.
Minnesota took a half-game lead in the division after beating Kansas City.
“We don’t deserve first place the way we’re playing,” Guillen said. “We’ll continue to fight and it’s going to be interesting. Now we’ve got to look up, there’s one team in front of us.”
“He’s been great,” Pedroia said of Matsuzaka. “Now he’s confident. He’s attacking the zone. It makes it a lot easier for us behind him.”
Matsuzaka (13-2) gave up one run and won for the fourth time in five starts. He had pitched 7 1-3 innings twice this season but hadn’t finished eight. He threw 106 pitches, getting the White Sox to ground into four double plays— three by Pierzynski.
“I didn’t want to be responsible for our second loss in a row,” Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. “I made some mistakes, but I was able to hang in there and battle through. I felt like I was able to pitch like myself a little bit today.”
Logan entered in the seventh and couldn’t record an out. He loaded the bases with two singles and a walk before Pedroia hit a sharp single past third to break a 1-1 tie. Logan (2-3) got two quick strikes on Ortiz, before he crushed a belt-high pitch off the wall in left-center to clear the bases.
“We got into the situation off of Logan where needed a big hit, and we got it,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.
Guillen had met with Logan on the mound before Pedroia’s at-bat, delivering an animated speech, but left him in to face the middle of a dangerous Boston lineup. What did he say to Logan?
“I can’t say here, because I’m going to get in trouble,” Guillen said.
But the manager wasn’t shy talking about Logan’s poor performance, which along with his recent struggles, will likely keep him in the minors, barring a string of injuries.
“This a pennant race,” Guillen said. “I want men on the field.
“I keep telling (general manager Kenny Williams) we got what we need,” Guillen continued. “But some people make me look bad, some people make me look disappointed, some people make me think about what we have. Some players should look themselves in the mirror and be embarrassed, and they should be better, that’s all I can say.”
D.J. Carrasco filled in well for Contreras, giving up one run and three hits in 4 1-3 innings. Guillen said Carrasco is the favorite to take Contreras’ spot in the rotation.
Contreras gave up three hits in 1 2-3 innings, striking out two. He hadn’t pitched since July 13.
Red Sox C Jason Varitek, batting .221 coming in, hit ninth for the first time this year and went 1-for-4. … White Sox OF Ken Griffey Jr. sat out Saturday’s game with general soreness. 1B Paul Konerko also didn’t start. … Boston INF Julio Lugo (strained left quadriceps) did some light jogging Friday and Francona said his progress is “OK.” Lugo’s been out since July 12.