CHICAGO -- Jose Contreras contained the opposition and didn't get knocked around. It meant his first victory in nearly a month.
Contreras scattered six hits in six-plus innings, Frank Thomas hit his second three-run homer in as many games and the Chicago White Sox handed the Tampa Bay Devil Rays their eighth straight loss, 7-2 Wednesday night.
Contreras (4-5), who had not won since June 7, allowed two runs, walked three and struck out one as the White Sox completed the three-game sweep. He left after allowing a leadoff single to Toby Hall in the seventh.
"He's happy the team won, first of all," interpreter Ozzie Guillen Jr. said. "He had success tonight. He just felt his fastball was in the zone and he dominated it the way he was supposed to."
Manager Ozzie Guillen called it "a big step" for Contreras.
"I think he is too hard on himself," the older Guillen said. "He wants to be perfect, and you can't be like that. You have to throw it over the plate. ... I think that's exactly what he did."
Thomas, who hit the game-winning three-run shot in the eighth inning on Tuesday, blew this game open with a three-run homer in the fifth to make it 7-1. He has 11 homers in 72 at-bats.
Scott Podsednik, who won the Internet fan voting for the American League's final All-Star spot, went 2-for-4 and scored two runs. Carl Everett had three hits, and Tadahito Iguchi added two and scored twice for Chicago.
The Devil Rays' Aubrey Huff went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and Jorge Cantu added a solo shot.
Casey Fossum (3-7) started - as scheduled -- for Tampa Bay and allowed seven runs and 11 hits in six innings.
After watching the Devil Rays lose for the 10th time after taking a lead into the eighth inning Tuesday night, manager Lou Piniella vowed to have a reliever pitch the first two innings and then bring in Fossum. By Wednesday afternoon, he had changed his mind.
"It sounds intriguing," Piniella said before the game. "It could work, and it might not work well. But we won't know. We'll let someone else try it first. But I'll tell you this, I think it has a lot of merit for the minor leagues. (Starters) never get a chance to pitch meaningful innings - in the seventh, eighth and ninth.
"I think pitch counts rob young pitchers in the minor leagues of that opportunity."
With the White Sox leading 4-1, Podsednik led off the fifth with a walk and moved to third on Iguchi's single. With the count 3-2, Thomas then hit the 423-foot homer to left.
"I'm getting 3-2 counts, putting a good swing on the ball and things are happening," he said. "I'll take it. ... I'm just trying to focus right now and hit the ball hard. I'm not worried about home runs."
The latest shot came on a hanging slider, one of several bad pitches by Fossum.
"I made a lot of mistakes up in the zone, and they took advantage of them," he said. "The home run to Thomas -- a full count -- I (have) to throw something over the plate, and I threw a slider. I just didn't have it today."
Contreras had it.
With rumors circulating that the White Sox are looking for a pitcher, Contreras found the touch he showed through his first 12 starts, when his ERA was 3.13. He did not resemble the pitcher who was 0-3 with an 8.10 ERA in his previous four outings. He allowed Huff's homer in the first, but the White Sox answered with three runs in the third. The White Sox added a run in the fourth on Juan Uribe's sacrifice fly.
"Regardless of the rumors, he still does his job every day, works hard every day," Guillen Jr. said, paraphrasing Contreras. "Rumors don't affect him. He says if they bring in a pitcher, he's still going to have to do his job the same way."
With Paul Konerko resting, Jermaine Dye made his major league debut at first base for the White Sox. Dye said he last played first for Kansas City's Triple-A affiliate in Omaha in 1998. Dye, who was 1-for-3, has a six-game hitting streak. He is 9-for-19 with nine RBIs in that stretch. ... Chicago's Pablo Ozuna started his second straight game at third base for Joe Crede, who has a sore back. He is batting .321 in 23 starts. ... With his walk in the third, Thomas tied Willie Mays for 17th on baseball's career list with 1,464. ... Chicago's Bobby Jenks pitched the ninth inning in his major-league debut. ... After going 3-for-4, Everett is batting .342 with 20 RBI in his last 19 games.