Contreras in search of 13th straight

Contreras in search of 13th straight victory

It will be hard for the White Sox to top Wednesday night's exciting 6-5 victory in 11 innings, done in come-from-behind fashion. In fact, Jose Contreras will give it his best effort to make Thursday's series finale against the Mariners a little bit easier on the team's collective nerves.

Contreras carries a 12-game winning streak in the regular season into the start, where he'll be opposed by Seattle's young right-hander Felix Hernandez. Contreras has a 15-1 record over his last 17 starts, including the postseason, and has a 2.15 ERA during that run. His ERA checks in at 1.84 over the course of the winning streak.

Manager Ozzie Guillen once again will try to mix and match his lineup, with Jermaine Dye on the sideline due to a strained left calf. Guillen's moves certainly worked on Wednesday, especially his decision to pinch-hit Pablo Ozuna for Rob Mackowiak with two outs in the ninth inning against closer Eddie Guardado.

"He knows what he's doing. He's the man," said White Sox pitcher Freddy Garcia of his close friend and boss. "He proved it the last couple of years. He know what to do in all those situations. That's the way he is."

"I haven't met anyone who does a better job of getting 25 guys ready to go," added White Sox shortstop Juan Uribe of Guillen.

The White Sox have a 17-3 record in games where they have homered this season. They are 9-1 in multihomer games.

Pitching matchup
SEA: RHP Felix Hernandez (1-3, 5.06 ERA)
Yes, Hernandez can strike hitters out. But the hard-throwing 20-year-old will have to be more of a pitcher than a thrower against the defending World Series champs. Chicago hitters will try to work deep into counts and rattle the young hurler. In turn, Hernandez needs to maintain his composure and use his fastball judiciously.

CWS: RHP Jose Contreras (4-0, 1.45 ERA)
The big right-hander is now tied with Jim Kaat for the fourth longest win streak in White Sox history. He hasn't lost a regular-season game since Aug. 15. In his last start, against the Angels, he went 8 1/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits. He walked one and struck out four. He has allowed just four runs in his last 36 1/3 inning (0.99 ERA).

Player to watch
There is not a player on the Mariners with a home run or an RBI against Contreras, but Raul Ibanez would be the top candidate to break that streak. Ibanez has torn apart White Sox pitching in 2006, with eight hits in 16 at-bats, including two home runs. Ibanez is a .270 career hitter against the White Sox.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• CSN Chicago

On radio
• WSCR 670-AM

Up next
• Friday: Royals (RHP Scott Elarton, 0-4, 4.28 ERA) at White Sox (RHP Jon Garland, 2-1, 7.11 ERA), 7:35 p.m. CT
• Saturday: Royals (RHP Runelvys Hernandez, 1-1, 2.63 ERA) at White Sox (RHP Javier Vazquez, 3-1, 3.00 ERA), 6:05 p.m. CT
• Sunday: Royals (LHP Mark Redman, 0-2, 7.00 ERA) at White Sox (LHP Mark Buehrle, 3-2, 3.76 ERA), 1:05 p.m. CT

Scott Merkin is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.