Rowand homered twice -- including his first career grand slam --
and Contreras won his third straight decision for Chicago in the
White Sox's 9-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night.Rowand has homered four times and driven in nine runs in
Contreras' last two starts."I said, `I can't wait for you to pitch again," Rowand told
Contreras after the game. "He said, 'I'll pitch tomorrow for
you."The White Sox are five games behind Minnesota in the AL Central,
and Contreras' performance has been a big factor in Chicago
remaining a factor."I owe him something a little bigger than dinner," Contreras
said through an interpreter. "Not only Aaron, but the whole team
has been behind me and right now we have a great team unity right
now. We are together and I think we will be in this for a while and
make a run for it."Contreras (11-5) allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings.
He struck out six and walked four. Contreras, acquired at the trade
deadline from the New York Yankees for Esteban Loaiza, is 3-0 with
a 3.04 ERA in four starts for the White Sox.Contreras had his father, Florentino, in his mind while pitching
on his 82nd birthday."When I was playing in Cuba he followed me around, so it's
unfortunate he couldn't watch me play today," Contreras said.
"But I'm going to get the tape so I could send the tape to Cuba so
he can watch it."The Tigers struggled to get a string of hits off Contreras."He shut us down big-time at the beginning," Tigers manager
Alan Trammell said. "We haven't done all that well against him.
He's not afraid if he falls behind to throw the heat."Mike Jackson threw a scoreless ninth for Chicago, becoming the
ninth pitcher in major league history with 1,000 appearances.White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was back at the ballpark after
spending a night in a hospital because of a kidney stone. He
skipped Wednesday night's game against the Tigers to complete the
two-game suspension he began serving Tuesday.The White Sox jumped on Jeremy Bonderman (6-10) right away,
scoring five times in the first inning.Timo Perez drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on Roberto
Alomar's groundout and went to third on Carlos Lee's infield hit.
Perez then scored on a wild pitch by Bonderman. After striking out
Paul Konerko, Bonderman hit Carl Everett with a pitch and walked
Jose Valentin to load the bases.Rowand followed by hitting a 438-foot shot over the center-field
wall to give the White Sox a 5-0 lead."I knew I hit that ball when I got it," Rowand said. "Anytime
you get a career first, it's something you can remember, something
you can take home and put on the mantle."Ben Davis, 3-for-4, doubled leading off the fourth and scored on
Perez's RBI single.Bonderman gave up six runs on five hits in 3 2-3 innings. He has
lost his last four decisions, and hasn't won since he beat the New
York Yankees on July 7.The Tigers scored twice in the fifth. Contreras walked Nook
Logan, who went to third on Omar Infante's double and scored on
Bobby Higginson's RBI single. Infante then scored on Carlos
Guillen's fielder's choice.In the sixth, Tigers reliever Roberto Novoa hit Rowand in the
back with a pitch leading off the inning. Rowand was the third
White Sox batter hit by a pitch, prompting plate umpire Joe West to
issue warnings to both clubs.Novoa was chased after giving up back-to-back singles to Davis
and Joe Crede. Rowand scored on Crede's single and one out later,
Alomar drove in Davis with an RBI single off Jamie Walker, making
it 8-2.Rowand hit his second homer of the night off Walker in the
seventh, tying his career high with five RBI. Rowand is 16-for-31
lifetime against the Tigers with three home runs."We found out that Aaron Rowand can certainly hit a fastball,"
Trammell said. "He's a real good-looking player. He's been a Tiger
killer this year."
Tigers C Ivan Rodriguez was a late scratch from the lineup
with a sore right hip. ... White Sox bench coach Harold Baines
managed the club in Guillen's absence. ... Konerko left in the
sixth with a bruised left forearm.