Contreras done in by big inning
Right-hander knocked around for eight runs in fourth
CHICAGO -- The White Sox once again built themselves an early lead at Wrigley Field, but once again, that lead vanished via the long ball.
The Cubs plated nine runs off Jose Contreras and Boone Logan in the fourth inning en route to an 11-7 win over the White Sox on Saturday afternoon. It was the most runs allowed by Contreras in what was his roughest -- and shortest -- outing of the season.
"They just kicked our [tails]," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Jose, it seemed, every time he threw the ball around the plate, he [got] hit pretty hard. They [have] a good-hitting team out there. You gotta pitch well. If you're not pitching well, that's gonna be the result."
The White Sox jumped on the board early thanks to the bat of Jermaine Dye. The right fielder drilled a two-run homer in the first inning for his sixth long ball in the last six games. DeWayne Wise also jumped on the homer bandwagon to extend the lead, hitting his first home run since Oct. 3, 2004, when he was a member of the Braves.
That home run also came at Wrigley Field.
"I like it here," said Wise, who got the start against Cubs righty Jason Marquis. "I was thinking about that when I got here. I said, 'Man, my last home run was here at Wrigley, I think off [Kerry] Wood."
Actually, the home run came against then-Cubs reliever Kent Mercker. But after the nine-run fourth inning, who could blame Wise for forgetting?
With the White Sox leading, 4-1, in the fourth, Jim Edmonds and Mike Fontenot started the rally for the Cubs, belting back-to-back home runs to left field. In just three pitches, the Cubs were within one run. Contreras walked Ryan Theriot before surrendering four consecutive singles to give the Cubs the lead.
Aramis Ramirez, who hit two home runs Friday, including the walk-off winner, smacked a three-run shot to left.
At that point, after eight runs had already come across the plate, Guillen decided to head out to the mound and pull Contreras.
"[Contreras] was all right except for the one inning that was horrible," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "That's what happens. You get some balls up and the wind's blowing out and they go out and they score a lot of runs. We just couldn't find a way to shut it down."
Logan came in to relieve the right-hander but didn't fare much better against Edmonds, who connected for his second homer of the inning.
But Guillen wasn't giving any credit to Edmonds.
"He just had a good day," Guillen said. "I don't want to promote the guy who's hitting .218. ... He just had a good day. Good for him. I'd rather have him out there than [Alfonso] Soriano.
"Jim's not gonna scare me," Guillen added. "I will pitch to him any time. If he hits another couple home runs, good for him."
The White Sox have allowed seven home runs in two games against the Cubs, three of those coming against Contreras on Saturday.
"In 90-plus innings [this season] I've given up four or five home runs, and in this game I gave up three," Contreras said through translator Juan Nieves. "I never had a minute like that in my career."
After Contreras gave up the first two home runs, a walk, and a single to Marquis, nobody was warming up in the White Sox bullpen, and neither Guillen nor pitching coach Don Cooper made a trip to the mound.
"Well, [John] Danks was ready to pitch, but I [took] him out yesterday too quick," said Guillen, referring to the backlash he'd received for taking Danks out after six innings of one-run baseball on Friday. "I think I got the right match-up. And I'm not gonna waste my bullpen if I still think Jose can get people out. It happened so quickly. I [brought] in a lefty and he gave up another home run. It was just a bad day."
"He hadn't thrown that many pitches," Pierzynski added. "We were just hoping he could get a ground ball, get a double play and get us out of there."
The White Sox fell to 30-32 all-time against the Cubs and have lost eight in a row on the road.
Guillen said he doesn't plan on using designated hitter Jim Thome at first base in Sunday's finale to give the offense a boost. After all, the offense did their job to give the team a lead in both games of the series.
"I'd rather lose Thome for another three days, not for a month," Guillen said. "I don't want to take a chance to get hurt."
David Just is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.