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Chicago at Oakland

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Chi. White Sox «000110020490
Oakland010000000150

White Sox 4, Athletics 1

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Jose Contreras wanted nothing more than to put his debacle from opening day in the past.

He looked like a different pitcher this time -- and Chicago's offense gave him just enough support in a tough challenge against Rich Harden.

Scott Podsednik broke a tie with his fifth-inning solo homer, Jim Thome hit a tying shot an inning earlier and the White Sox spoiled Oakland's home opener with a 4-1 victory Monday night.

Contreras bounced back from an awful, one-inning outing April 2 to pitch six effective innings as Chicago snapped a four-game losing streak in the Coliseum with only its fifth win in 28 tries in the Athletics' stadium since 2001.

"Wow," Podsednik said of Contreras' timely turnaround. "You need a good performance from your starting pitcher when you're facing a guy like Harden. He pitched his tail off."

The White Sox beat Harden a day after losing to Twins ace Johan Santana -- handing the A's their first defeat with the hard-throwing right-hander on the mound in his last 12 regular-season starts.

Thome led off the fourth with a home run and added an insurance RBI single in the eighth. Podsednik hit his first home run since July 23 against Texas and first on the road since May 15 at Minnesota. He also doubled and singled as both players finished 3-for-4, and Jermaine Dye added a sacrifice fly.

Harden (1-1), limited to nine starts in 2006 because of two stints on the disabled list, hadn't lost since Aug. 9, 2005, and Oakland hadn't dropped a game in which he started since Aug. 14 that year to Minnesota. He was the losing pitcher in Game 3 of the AL Championship Series last October in Detroit.

Contreras (1-1) was coming off the second-shortest start of his career, lasting just one inning and allowing eight runs and seven hits against the Indians on opening day April 2. He yielded one run and four hits, struck out four and walked four A's hitters.

"After opening up on opening day the way I did, I needed it for my psyche," Contreras said through a translator. "I located my fastball much better. That was the difference."

Mike MacDougal and Matt Thornton combined to pitch 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, and Bobby Jenks finished in his first career appearance in Oakland -- the last AL park in which the right-hander hadn't pitched.

White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen was relishing the rare victory in Oakland, though still frustrated with the A's alcohol-free clubhouse that has been dry since last season.

"We never do that," he said after coming out to the clubhouse to hang with his team. "It's weird to win here the first time in 20 years and not have a beer to celebrate. ... Jose definitely needed one like this."

Contreras loaded the bases in the third, giving up Jason Kendall's leadoff walk before Mike Piazza's two-out single and a walk to Eric Chavez. Then Nick Swisher flied out to end the threat. That was the first of eight straight retired Oakland batters by the right-hander.

Harden didn't throw many first-pitch strikes and labored through six innings, getting Joe Crede to ground into an inning-ending double play on his 102nd and final pitch of the game.

"They try to take me deep in the count, foul pitches off," Harden said. "That's a tough team to put away. It was one of those I had to fight through."

Oakland's starters came in with a 1.91 ERA through their first seven games. Harden gave up five hits, struck out six and walked two.

Rookie Travis Buck hit a two-out RBI double in the second for the defending AL West champion A's, who managed little else. They had runners on first and second with two outs in the sixth, but Buck struck out.

"We'll be better," Oakland's Mark Ellis said. "We had our chances but it seemed like we always had those chances with two outs. If we could have mustered something a little earlier, it would have been great."

Piazza, the A's new designated hitter, received a warm reception in his first game in front of the home crowd since taking over DH duties from departed slugger Frank Thomas, who led the team in home runs and RBI in 2006.

Notes

  • Milton Bradley's eighth-inning infield single gave him a 22-game hitting streak against the White Sox.
  • White Sox LHP Mark Buehrle is slated to start Wednesday afternoon's series finale, but Guillen will be careful with the pitcher, who is nursing a sore throwing arm. "We'll keep eyes close on him," Guillen said. "I worry about him getting tight." Buehrle was hit in the left forearm by a line drive off the bat of Cleveland's Ryan Garko on Thursday, forcing him out of the game in the second inning.
  • The game drew a sellout crowd of 35,077.
 
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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Players of the Game
Chicago

S. Podsednik
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
Chicago

J. Thome
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Chicago White Sox
Scott Podsednik, LF4231001 .467
Darin Erstad, CF3010022 .300
Paul Konerko, 1B2100222 .263
Jim Thome, DH4132012 .238
Jermaine Dye, RF3001003 .100
Joe Crede, 3B4010002 .273
A.J. Pierzynski, C4010010 .136
Alex Cintron, 2B4000001 .167
Juan Uribe, SS3000100 .278
Totals3149436  
Batting
2B - Scott Podsednik (1, Harden)
HR - Scott Podsednik (1, Harden), Jim Thome (2, Harden)
SF - Jermaine Dye (1)
SH - Darin Erstad (2)
RBI - Scott Podsednik (2), Jim Thome 2 (5), Jermaine Dye (1)
2-OUT RBI - Scott Podsednik (2)
SB - Scott Podsednik (2, 2nd base off Harden/Kendall)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Uribe-Cintron-Konerko
Chicago White Sox
Jose Contreras (W,1-1) 6411440 10.29
Mike MacDougal (H,3) 1.2100010 2.25
Matt Thornton (H,2) 0.2000000 9.00
Bobby Jenks 0.2000000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jose Contreras 105-66, Mike MacDougal 19-13, Matt Thornton 6-4, Bobby Jenks 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jose Contreras 6-8, Mike MacDougal 2-1, Matt Thornton 2-0, Bobby Jenks 1-1
Batters Faced - Jose Contreras 26, Mike MacDougal 5, Matt Thornton 2, Bobby Jenks 2
Oakland Athletics
Jason Kendall, C3000100 .156
Shannon Stewart, LF4000001 .182
Milton Bradley, CF4010011 .250
Mike Piazza, DH4010001 .375
Eric Chavez, 3B3010100 .313
Nick Swisher, 1B3100114 .292
Bobby Crosby, SS3010110 .222
Travis Buck, RF4011012 .238
Mark Ellis, 2B3000012 .240
Totals3115145  
Batting
2B - Travis Buck (3, Contreras)
RBI - Travis Buck (1)
2-OUT RBI - Travis Buck (1)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Travis Buck 1
DP - Crosby-Ellis-Swisher, Ellis-Crosby-Swisher
PB - Jason Kendall (1)
Oakland Athletics
Rich Harden (L,1-1) 6522262 1.38
Jay Marshall 1.1222100 4.15
Kiko Calero 0.2100000 15.43
Lenny DiNardo 1100000 0.00
IBB - Konerko by Jay Marshall
Pitches-Strikes - Rich Harden 102-68, Jay Marshall 23-14, Kiko Calero 7-5, Lenny DiNardo 8-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rich Harden 4-7, Jay Marshall 3-1, Lenny DiNardo 1-1
Batters Faced - Rich Harden 24, Jay Marshall 7, Kiko Calero 2, Lenny DiNardo 3
Game Information
Attendance - 35077
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Ed Hickox, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Ed Rapuano