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Not a complete loss


Not a complete loss
Jose Contreras remains winless after four starts, but the White Sox' 4-3 loss Sunday to Toronto wasn't all negative as far as Contreras' teammates were concerned.

''It was a big start for him against a lineup that is swinging well,'' Sox captain Paul Konerko said. ''That's probably the biggest positive. That's got to make him feel good. With a break or two, it could have been no runs.''

Contreras lasted seven innings -- his longest outing since last June -- and left with a 3-3 tie against one of the game's premier pitchers, Roy Halladay (4-1). If manager Ozzie Guillen was looking for good signs despite losing a three-game series to the red-hot Blue Jays, it would be how his veteran right-hander performed.

''Awesome job,'' Guillen said after Contreras limited the damage to three runs and eight hits. ''Jose was more aggressive, threw strikes and was more confident today. If Jose continues to throw like that, he'll win some games for us. That's the guy we wanted, and hopefully this game will make him feel better about himself and throw the ball the way he can.''

Contreras had one tough inning, the first, when left-handed designated hitter Adam Lind doubled with two out to score Aaron Hill and Vernon Wells. He gave up one more run in the fourth when Travis Snider singled after Rod Barajas had doubled.

The deciding run came in the eighth when reliever Scott Linebrink (0-1) took over and gave up his first run in seven outings.

''I was throwing first-pitch strikes,'' Contreras said. ''My split-finger, two-seamer, four-seamer, they were all in the strike zone, and that was the big difference. The key is the split-finger against left-handers. That's the pitch I set up lefties with.''

Contreras, who worked hard to come back ahead of schedule from a ruptured Achilles tendon, hadn't pitched more than 5? innings in his first three outings.

''I was feeling good,'' he said. ''I'll keep working hard to be ready for my next start.''

Against Halladay, runs figured to be in short supply, though the Sox took the lead in the third when Konerko doubled home two runs off the Blue Jays ace.

''We gave him a fight, but he did what he always does, and that's settle down and go deep in a game,'' said Konerko, who has hit .391 (9-for-23) with six RBI against Halladay in his career.

''He's one of the best pitchers in the game,'' Guillen said. ''We've handled him in the past, but he's very good. He keeps his team in the game.''

The Sox offense was hot and cold through the weekend, failing to score a run Friday, then scoring 10 on Saturday.

''The offense will be on and off, face it,'' Guillen said. ''The pitching has to be there every day if you want to win this. Hopefully we get hot at the right time [offensively] and take off.''

THE RECAP

AT THE PLATE

Paul Konerko drove in two runs with a third-inning double off Roy Halladay and is hitting .470 with 11 RBI with runners in scoring position. Brian Anderson was

3-for-4 and is hitting .462

(12-for-26) in his last seven games.

ON THE MOUND

Jose Contreras had his longest outing of the season, working seven innings and retiring 11 of the last 12 batters he faced. It was his longest start since last June 5 against Kansas City. Scott Linebrink took the loss when he gave up his first run of the season after six scoreless outings.

PIVOTAL POINT

The score was tied 3-3 when Linebrink began the eighth by giving up a double to Vernon Wells, walking Adam Lind and allowing an RBI single by Scott Rolen that proved to be the winning hit.

BOX SCORE

Toronto AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

Scutaro ss 5 0 1 1 0 1 .273

A.Hill 2b 5 1 1 0 0 1 .367

Rios rf 5 0 1 0 0 0 .244

V.Wells cf 5 2 2 0 0 0 .274

Lind dh 2 0 1 2 2 0 .333

Rolen 3b 4 0 1 1 0 0 .319

Overbay 1b 3 0 0 0 1 0 .289

Barajas c 4 1 3 0 0 1 .286

Snider lf 4 0 1 0 0 1 .298

Totals 37 4 11 4 3 4

WHITE SOX AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

Lillibridge 2b 4 1 1 0 0 1 .161

Fields 3b 3 1 1 1 1 2 .262

Quentin lf 4 0 1 0 0 0 .246

Thome dh 4 1 1 0 0 1 .218

Dye rf 4 0 0 0 0 2 .313

Konerko 1b 4 0 1 2 0 0 .328

Pierzynski c 4 0 0 0 0 1 .236

Bri.Anderson cf 4 0 3 0 0 0 .349

1-Owens pr 0 0 0 0 0 0 .125

AL.Ramirez ss 4 0 1 0 0 0 .194

Totals 35 3 9 3 1 7

Toronto 200 100 010--4 11 0

WHITE SOX 102 000 000--3 9 0

1-ran for Bri.Anderson in the 9th.

LOB--Toronto 9, SOX 6. 2B--Rios (6), V.Wells (6), Lind (8), Barajas (5), Lillibridge (2), Konerko (5). RBI--Scutaro (13), Lind 2 (17), Rolen (8), Fields (10), Konerko 2 (15). SB--AL.Ramirez (3). CS--Bri.Anderson (2).

Runners left in scoring position--Toronto 5 (Rolen, A.Hill 2, Snider, V.Wells); SOX 5 (Konerko 2, Lillibridge, Pierzynski, Fields). Runners moved up--Scutaro, Thome, Dye, AL.Ramirez.

Toronto IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA

Halladay W, 4-1 7 8 3 3 1 6 119 3.75

Frasor H, 1 .1 0 0 0 0 0 5 0.00

Carlson H, 4 .2 0 0 0 0 1 4 1.80

Downs S, 2-2 1 1 0 0 0 0 8 0.84

WHITE SOX IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA

Contreras 7 8 3 3 1 2 96 6.75

Linebrink L, 0-1 1 2 1 1 2 1 23 1.29

Jenks 1 1 0 0 0 1 16 3.00

IBB--off Linebrink (Overbay). WP--Halladay.

Umpires--Home, Marvin Hudson; First, John Hirschbeck; Second, Wally Bell; Third, Marty Foster. T--2:39. A--31,459 (40,615).

HOW THEY SCORED

Blue Jays FIRST Scutaro flied out. Hill singled. Rios lined out. Wells singled, Hill to third. Lind doubled, Hill scored, Wells scored. Two runs. Blue Jays 2, White Sox 0.

WHITE SOX FIRST Lillibridge doubled. Fields singled, Lillibridge scored. One run. Blue Jays 2, White Sox 1.

WHITE SOX THIRD Fields walked on a full count. Quentin lined out. Thome singled, Fields to third. Dye grounded out, Thome to second. Konerko doubled, Fields scored, Thome scored. Two runs. White Sox 3, Blue Jays 2.

Blue Jays FOURTH Overbay flied out. Barajas doubled. Snider infield single to second, Barajas to third. Scutaro grounded out, Barajas scored, Snider to second. One run. Blue Jays 3, White Sox 3.

Blue Jays EIGHTH Linebrink pitching. Wells doubled. Lind walked. Rolen singled, Wells scored, Lind to third. One run. Blue Jays 4, White Sox 3.

ON DECK

Mariners AT SOX

Tonight: 7:11, Ch. 26, 670-AM. Chris Jakubauskas (1-2, 7.11 ERA) vs. John Danks (2-0, 0.95).

Tuesday: 7:11 p.m., CSN Plus, 670-AM. Felix Hernandez (3-0, 3.12) vs. Bartolo Colon (1-1, 6.14).

Wednesday: 1:05 p.m., Ch. 9, 670-AM. Erik Bedard (2-1, 2.08) vs. Gavin Floyd (2-2, 5.79).

The story line: The Mariners are the American League's early surprise team, leading the West and playing especially well on the road (major-league-best 7-2 through Saturday). They lead the AL in ERA, and closer Brandon Morrow hasn't allowed a run and has given up only two hits in his last six appearances.

Toni Ginnetti


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 27, 2009

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