Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 8/18)

Game 1: Tuesday, August 17
Chi White Sox8
Game 2: Wednesday, August 18
Chi White Sox9
Game 3: Thursday, August 19
Chi White Sox4

Tigers 2

(55-64, 27-34 away)

White Sox 9

(60-57, 34-26 home)

    8:05 PM ET, August 18, 2004

    U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    DET 000020000 2 7 0
    CWS 50010210 - 9 9 0

    W: J. Contreras (11-5)

    L: J. Bonderman (6-10)

    Contreras wins third straight decision

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Aaron Rowand and Jose Contreras are making quite a duo for the Chicago White Sox.

    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."

    Game notes

    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press