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Detroit at Chicago

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Chi. White Sox «00104000x5150

Contreras clamps down on Tigers; ChiSox end rookie's streak

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Jose Contreras looked like the ace the Chicago White Sox relied on last season when they needed a big win en route to a World Series championship.

Contreras pitched a three-hitter for first major league shutout, beating the team with the best record in baseball Friday night as the White Sox rocked rookie Justin Verlander in a 5-0 win over the Detroit Tigers.

"The shutout is not as big a deal as the victory," Contreras said through an interpreter. "It was huge game. I was going to go up against the best team in the league, the Detroit Tigers, and going up against their best pitcher, right now probably one of the best pitchers in the game."

Jim Thome and A.J. Pierzynski hit two-run homers in the fifth off Verlander, who gave up a season-high 13 hits in just five innings as the White Sox cut Detroit's lead in the AL Central to 7½ games and sent the Tigers to their third straight loss.

"I think our approach was pretty good and we were fortunate he left some balls in the zone," Thome said. "He has very good stuff and with him, you want to eliminate him getting in a groove and rolling."

Contreras (11-4) didn't give up a hit until Curtis Granderson doubled with two outs in the sixth. He struck out five and walked one. Carlos Guillen and Sean Casey singled for Detroit's other hits.

"It was one of those nights where we just couldn't get anything going on him. He just had his best stuff," Casey said.

Asked if it was the best game he'd pitched in the majors, Contreras said he wasn't sure.

"I've had big games I think in the second half last year and first half this year," he said. "But this is my first time in the United States throwing nine and no one scoring on me, so I guess it is a pretty important game."

Contreras, who was 11-2 for Chicago in the second half of last season and then 3-1 in the postseason, pitched his first professional shutout since leaving Cuba and starting his career in 2003.

"I haven't had many in the U.S," Contreras said. "But I had a lot in Cuba."

Verlander (14-5), who was working after a nine-day layoff so he could get extra rest, failed in his bid to become the majors' first 15-game winner and lost for the first time since Chicago beat him June 7.

The hard-throwing rookie was 7-0 in his previous nine starts. He is now 0-3 this season against the White Sox.

"It was a bad outing. I had good stuff, but it doesn't really matter," Verlander said. "I gave up five runs in five innings. ... Thome hit a great pitch, a changeup, and it caught a little bit more of the plate than I would have liked."

Thome's 35th homer came in the fifth and followed a single by Tadahito Iguchi, putting Chicago ahead up 3-0. One out later, Jermaine Dye singled and Pierzynski sent his 10th homer into the seats in right.

"They roughed him up tonight because they stayed on his pitches," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "They're a good hitting team, they're a good two-strike hitting team."

Verlander's errant pickoff throw in the third allowed Scott Podsednik, who had singled, to move all the way to third. Iguchi had an RBI grounder.

Chicago's Alex Cintron doubled with two outs in the fourth but was cut down at the plate on left fielder Craig Monroe's strong throw to Ivan Rodriguez following Brian Anderson's single.

Detroit has a big lead, but the teams play nine more times this season.

"A lot of things can happen. It will not be easy," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "But nothing is impossible."

Notes

  • Thome's 35 homers are the most by a left-handed hitter in White Sox history. He had been tied with Robin Ventura, who hit 34 in 1996.
  • Thome's homer was the 465th of his career, tying him with Hall of Famer David Winfield for 27th place on baseball's career list.
  • Verlander's previous high in hits allowed was nine.
  • White Sox SS Juan Uribe missed his sixth straight game because of a stiff back.
  • The White Sox have won seven of 10 against Detroit this season.
  • Contreras is 8-3 in his career against the Tigers, including 3-1 this season.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Jose Contreras gets a fifth-inning homer and a postgame hug from catcher A.J. Pierzynski.  (AP)
Jose Contreras gets a fifth-inning homer and a postgame hug from catcher A.J. Pierzynski. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

J. Thome
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Chicago

J. Contreras
IP 9.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 1
K 5
 
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF4010001
Placido Polanco, 2B4000001
Ivan Rodriguez, C4000010
Magglio Ordonez, RF4000000
Carlos Guillen, SS2010100
Dmitri Young, DH3000012
Craig Monroe, LF3000011
Sean Casey, 1B3010020
Brandon Inge, 3B3000001
Totals30030156 
Batting
2B - Curtis Granderson (, Contreras)
SB - Carlos Guillen (, 2nd base off Contreras/Pierzynski)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Craig Monroe 1
DP - Polanco-Guillen-Casey
E - Brandon Inge (, ), Justin Verlander (, )
Detroit Tigers
Justin Verlander (L,-) 51354042
Wil Ledezma 2100030
Roman Colon 1100000
WP - Roman Colon ()
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 98-65, Wil Ledezma 23-17, Roman Colon 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 3-6, Wil Ledezma 1-2, Roman Colon 1-2
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 26, Wil Ledezma 7, Roman Colon 4
Chicago White Sox
Scott Podsednik, LF5120001
Tadahito Iguchi, 2B4121011
Jim Thome, DH4122011
Paul Konerko, 1B4000022
Jermaine Dye, RF4120021
A.J. Pierzynski, C4112001
Joe Crede, 3B4030000
Alex Cintron, SS4020002
Brian Anderson, CF4010014
Totals3751550713 
Batting
2B - Alex Cintron (, Verlander)
HR - Jim Thome (, Verlander), A.J. Pierzynski (, Verlander)
RBI - Tadahito Iguchi (), Jim Thome 2 (), A.J. Pierzynski 2 ()
2-OUT RBI - A.J. Pierzynski 2 ()
Team LOB - 8
Chicago White Sox
Jose Contreras (W,-) 9300150
Pitches-Strikes - Jose Contreras 101-66
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jose Contreras 14-8
Batters Faced - Jose Contreras 31
Game Information
Attendance - 39378
Game Time - 2:13
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Derryl Cousins, Second Base - Jeff Nelson, Third Base - Tim Timmons