CHICAGO -- Mark Grudzielanek celebrated his new contract with a big night at the plate.
Grudzielanek hit a three-run homer and finished with three hits only hours after agreeing to a $4 million, one-year extension, and Adam Bernero pitched six shutout innings to lead the Kansas City Royals past the Chicago White Sox10-4 Wednesday night.
Grudzielanek was nearly traded before signing the deal, which has a player option for the 2008 season at $4 million to $4.5 million, depending on plate appearances next year. He can earn $250,000 annually in performance bonuses.
"The actuality was, if they didn't see me as part of the team in the next few years, then it would have probably happened," Grudzielanek said. "With both sides liking each other and being happy with the situation ... I believe we can put together a very solid year and a playoff-contending team very soon."
The defending World Series champions have lost two straight to the Royals, who have the worst record in the majors. Just before that, Chicago won five in a row -- including a three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers, who own the best mark in the big leagues.
The White Sox trail Detroit by 6½ games in the AL Central. Kansas City, which roughed up Jose Contreras, had lost five straight before beating the White Sox on consecutive nights.
"We have to win every game because we are in a pennant race and we're not ahead of it so we don't have a luxury to lose games," Contreras said through a translator.
Ryan Shealy also homered for the Royals, who won for just for the fifth time in 17 road games.
Alex Cintron hit a grand slam in the ninth for the White Sox, who set a franchise record with nine slams this season.
Bernero (1-0) won his first game as a starter in the majors since May 31, 2003. His last win came June 18, 2005, with the Braves in Cincinnati.
"He's pitched really good. The two starts that he's been up here, his tempo is much better than I ever remember it. He's got a confidence about him that I don't quite remember in the past," Royals manager Buddy Bell said.
Bernero, making his second start of the season, held the White Sox to five hits. He struck out six and didn't allow a walk.
"I'm just trying to be aggressive and compete as best as I can. I just have a lot of confidence in my pitches," Bernero said.
Grudzielanek also hit a triple and a single and drove in a season-high four runs.
The Royals did most of their damage in third inning against Contreras. Kansas City scored six runs and batted around in the inning.
Joey Gathright bunted safely and David DeJesus hit a bloop single. Grudzielanek then hit his fifth home run of the season. On three straight pitches, Contreras gave up back-to-back doubles to Emil Brown and Reggie Sanders and then Shealy followed with a two-run homer.
"I think Jose lost concentration after DeJesus hit the blooper to left field. He got a little frustrated about it and everything went south," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.
In the fourth, Grudzielanek hit an RBI triple to give the Royals a 7-0 lead.
Contreras, who pitched his first career shutout against the Tigers on Friday, had his worst outing of the season against the Royals.
Contreras (11-5) lasted 6 2/3 innings, giving up 12 hits and a season-high seven runs. He struck out four and walked one.
"I feel bad because I felt good. I felt like I was dominating the game, dominating my pitches. I lost concentration after the first home run," Contreras said.
He is 2-5 since winning 17 straight decisions.
DeJesus hit a two-run single in the eighth and Mark Teahen added an RBI double to give the Royals a 10-0 lead.
The White Sox rested RF Jermaine Dye and CF Brian Anderson. ... Both benches were warned in the fifth when Contreras threw a pitch behind Gathright. ... Contreras matched his season high for hits allowed. ... Gathright was 2-for-3 with three runs scored. ... The Royals had 15 hits. Their season high is 18 against Texas on June 8. Each hitter in the Royals' lineup had at least one hit.