Chicago Jose Contreras is ready for his favorite kind of six-pack.
“Hopefully, there are five more wins to come after this one,” said Contreras, who made a strong bid to keep his job in Chicago’s rotation Wednesday by leading the White Sox over the Kansas City Royals, 4-2.
It’s been a bizarre season of sixes for Contreras, who has faltered in recent years after starring during the team’s 2005 championship run.
He went 0-5 with an 8.19 earned-run average in this season’s first six starts, followed by 4-2 with a 2.06 ERA in his next six outings. He then slumped to 0-4 with a 7.62 ERA in six starts before Wednesday.
That last stretch of poor pitching prompted the White Sox to bring in fellow ’05 World Series hero Freddy Garcia to compete for the No. 5 spot in the rotation.
One day after Garcia couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning, Contreras (5-11) allowed one run and three hits in seven innings, struck out eight and walked one to win for the first time since July 8.
“If this start was the beginning of the right kind of six-game streak, that would be huge for us,” Chicago’s A.J. Pierzynski said.
The White Sox, who have won eight of their last nine home series, began the day three games behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central.
Zack Greinke (11-8) pitched six innings for the Royals, giving up four earned runs and one walk. He struck out eight and took the loss.