feels like a complete pitcher again. The command, the fastball, the bite on his nasty forkball, it's all as good as ever.
''I've got it back,'' he said.
Contreras, demoted to the minor leagues earlier this season after an 0-5 start, pitched eight superb innings for his third
win since his return to the majors as the
Chicago White Sox
won their fifth straight, 6-2 over the lifeless
on Wednesday night.
Contreras (3-7) improved to 3-2 with a 2.17 ERA since being recalled on June 8 from Triple-A Charlotte, a month-long demotion
prompted by the 37-year-old's ragged start. The right-hander, who was just 1-6 in his previous 10 road starts, had little
trouble with the Indians.
Contreras allowed two runs and five hits, pitching into the eighth for the fourth time since being recalled. He struck out
eight and walked one. He's 4-0 with a 1.88 ERA in his last five starts against Cleveland.
''We've seen it before,''
said of Contreras, who won 28 games in 2005-06. ''That time in the minor leagues was great. He's in a groove right now.''
As are the Sox.
, who has served as Contreras' personal catcher since arriving in a trade, hit a three-run homer off
(2-6) in a four-run sixth as Chicago improved to 12-4 since June 13 and moved within three games of first-place Detroit in
the AL Central.
completed their first three-game sweep of Cleveland since the final weekend of the 2005 season, when they knocked the Indians
out of the playoff race.
Cleveland has dropped five in a row, 13 of 15 and the Indians' slide into obscurity shows no signs of ending anytime soon.
, whose job security has gotten shaky, is pleased the team will be off Thursday before opening a three-game series with Oakland.
''We're in a little bit of a rut right now,'' he said. ''We have to make sure we come in here expecting good things to happen.''
Sowers ran into a familiar problem in the sixth inning: the sixth inning.
The left-hander has had trouble getting outs his third time through a lineup and the
tagged him for four runs and five hits to open a 5-1 lead.
hit consecutive singles before Castro, batting .105 since being acquired from the
New York Mets
in May, drove Sowers' first pitch over the fence in right to make it 4-1.
followed with a double and scored on
''They were having quality at-bats,'' Sowers said. ''They were doing a good job of hitting what I was throwing. Some of the
pitches could have been better, but they're swinging the bats well right now.''
Castro hasn't shown much power since coming over from the NL, but Guillen know it's there.
''That guy has some pop,'' Guillen said. ''He's a strong kid. He can hit it a long way.''
Cleveland closed within 5-2 in the sixth on back-to-back doubles by
and Shin Soo-Choo.
The Indians came in hitting just .218 (12 of 55) in the previous two games and scored only 11 runs in the past four. They
took their first lead of the series in the second, but missed a chance to have a big inning against Contreras.
, in a 4-for-37 slide, doubled to put runners at second and third with nobody out. However, Contreras struck out
and gave up
's RBI groundout before retiring Martinez on a fly ball to left.
tied it in the fifth on
's two-out RBI single.
NOTES: Ramirez left in the middle of the eighth with an injured right middle finger. Guillen said his shortstop injured it
on Tuesday. Ramirez will sit out Thursday's game in Kansas City and Guillen said it was likely Ramirez will have X-rays. ...
The Indians have been swept five times this season. ... Thome recorded his 1,600th walk, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer
for 12th on the career list. Next up is
(1,605). ... The Indians received favorable reports on RHP
, who had his second straight strong minor league start Tuesday. The former 19-game winner is trying to get back to the majors.
Wedge said there is no timetable on Carmona's return, but the club has been encouraged by his progress. ... Cleveland has
used a major league-high 25 pitchers.