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Yankees end Contreras' 17-game streak, beat White Sox

NEW YORK (AP) -- Jose Contreras' streak of winning decisions came
full circle and ended against the team and pitcher it started
against.

Melky Cabrera's RBI single put the Yankees in front during a
three-run eighth inning and New York hung on to beat the Chicago
White Sox 6-5 Friday, snapping Contreras' run at 17 wins.

Contreras (9-1) hadn't lost since dropping a 4-2 decision to
Minnesota last Aug. 15. The streak started six days later when he
pitched eight innings in a 6-2 victory over Randy Johnson and the
Yankees, his former team.

"I would've liked the streak to continue but I wasn't really
thinking about it," Contreras said through an interpreter. "I
felt very good today. I had all my pitches going and I felt
strong."

Kyle Farnsworth (3-4) pitched a perfect eighth, and Mariano
Rivera worked the ninth for his 20th save in 22 chances. Rivera
allowed two runs before he got pinch-hitter A.J. Pierzynski to fly
out to right with a runner on third to end it.

"The last one was really the only one I had a chance to do
anything with," Pierzynski said of the 10-pitch at-bat. "The
thing about Mariano is you wait for him to miss and he doesn't
miss."

Contreras allowed Alex Rodriguez's leadoff single in the eighth
before he was relieved by Matt Thornton, who gave up a single to
Jorge Posada and walked Bernie Williams to load the bases.

Brandon McCarthy came in and struck out pinch-hitter Andy
Phillips before White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen replaced him with
Neal Cotts. Cabrera then hit an 0-1 pitch from Cotts up the middle
to give New York a 4-3 lead.

Cabrera, who popped out with the bases loaded to end the fourth,
said he was able to put that missed opportunity behind him.

"What happened in the fourth has nothing to do with what
happened in the ninth or in the bottom of the eighth," he said
through an interpreter. "I just went up there with one thing in
mind, just to do the job."

Miguel Cairo added a sacrifice fly, and Johnny Damon also had an
RBI double in the inning for the Yankees, who got a solid outing
from Johnson in their first game after the All-Star break. New York
has won five of six.

"The eighth inning was great," said Joe Torre, who picked up
his 1,927th win as a manager to pass Casey Stengel for 10th place
on baseball's career list. "We were very patient at the plate. We
did some good things and hopefully we can build this into
something."

Contreras, traded by the Yankees to Chicago two years ago,
allowed seven hits, walked three and struck out three. His
franchise-record winning streak tied two others for the
second-longest in the major leagues over the last 40 years.

He dropped to 17-1 in 25 starts since his previous loss.

"He threw the ball better today than he had the last couple of
outings," Guillen said. "If he continues to throw the ball like
that he'll win a lot of games in the second half."

The White Sox got to Johnson in the second inning. Jermaine Dye
singled with one out and Joe Crede followed with his 17th homer to
make it 2-0.

The Big Unit responded by retiring 14 of 15 batters before he
ran into trouble again in the seventh. Paul Konerko hit a leadoff
single and scored on Juan Uribe's sacrifice fly to tie it at 3.

Johnson allowed three runs and four hits in seven innings. He
struck out six and didn't walk a batter.

"I hadn't pitched in eight days so it took me a little while to
get going," Johnson said. "I got some big outs and was able to
shut a good team down."

Aaron Guiel's leadoff single in the third was the Yankees' only
hit off Contreras in the first three innings and the right-hander
got Cairo to ground into an inning-ending double play one batter
later.

The Yankees broke through in the fourth, pushing across two runs
to tie it. Posada hit a bases-loaded single to right with one out
and Williams added a sacrifice fly to left.

Guiel added a solo homer in the sixth to put the Yankees in
front.

Game notes
Crede was hit on his calf by a pitch in the seventh and
removed in the eighth. Pablo Ozuna moved from LF to 3B and Scott
Podsednik came in to play LF. Guillen said he doubts Crede will
play Saturday. ... RHP Sidney Ponson signed with the Yankees and is
slated to start Tuesday against Seattle. Ponson was 4-4 with a 5.24
ERA when he was released by the Cardinals last week. RHP Shawn
Chacon was moved to the bullpen, OF Kevin Thompson was optioned to
Triple-A Columbus and RHP Darrell Rasner was transferred to the
60-day disabled list to clear space for Ponson. ... Pierzynski said
his $2,000 fine for his part in a May brawl in a game against the
Chicago Cubs was reduced to $250 on appeal. ... Contreras became
the first pitcher to start consecutive games for the White Sox
since Wilbur Wood in 1976.