White Sox try to avoid first sweep

White Sox try to avoid first sweep

The White Sox will try to avoid a sweep and salvage one win from their already lost series with the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon. Jose Contreras' 17-game regular-season win streak is also on the line.

Contreras will go for his 10th win of the season against Curt Schilling, who is going for his 11th win.

Schilling may have some anger to take out on the White Sox, since manager Ozzie Guillen, who will manage the AL All-Star team on Tuesday, did not pick Schilling for the team.

Guillen reasoned that he did not pick Schilling because Schilling would only be available to throw a limited number of pitches on Tuesday after his start on Sunday. Guillen also had to worry about making sure every team had at least one representative on the team.

Contreras, on the other hand, will be making the trip to Pittsburgh for Tuesday's All-Star Game after going into Sunday's game 9-0 with a 3.31 ERA and the aforementioned 17-game regular-season winning streak.

Because of Contreras' status as a former Yankee, Schilling has seen a lot of Contreras, and has noticed vast improvement.

"He's just matured into a good pitcher," Schilling said. "He's not even remotely what he was in New York. I think a lot of that is confidence, the way he pitches, his mound presence is better and it's showing."

If the Sox get swept, it will be the first time this season -- a negative note to end the first half on.

"If we get swept, the earth will end I guess," first baseman Paul Konerko said with a smile. "We'll have to regroup. We'll need the whole All-Star break to put ourselves back together. We'll go out and play hard, that's all you can do."

"Tomorrow's game is going to be the biggest it can be," Guillen said. "Going into the All-Star break, hopefully, we win tomorrow and then get a little refresher."

The Sox return to action after the All-Star break with a three-game series against the Yankees in New York.

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Curt Schilling (10-3, 3.63 ERA)
Schilling threw seven innings, but allowed three home runs against the Rays in a 4-3 loss Tuesday. The outing marked just the fourth time in 18 starts that Schilling has allowed four or more runs. Still, the 39-year-old has gone deep into games consistently, recording less than six innings just twice this year. He's 2-0 at U.S. Cellular Field, with a 0.90 ERA in three career appearances. Overall, Schilling is 3-1 against the White Sox with a 4.01 ERA in 10 career games.

CWS: RHP Jose Contreras (9-0, 3.31 ERA)
The streak of consecutive regular-season winning decisions has now reached 17 straight for the big right-hander, after pitching 6 2/3 scoreless innings during the White Sox 13-0 victory over Baltimore on Tuesday. But the true test for Contreras to extend that streak comes against the Red Sox, a team which he struggled mightily against while with the Yankees. Contreras' regular-season run does not include a victory over Boston, and he has a 2-4 record with an 11.67 ERA lifetime against the Red Sox.

Player to watch
Coco Crisp is batting .357 against Contreras in 14 at-bats. Crisp snapped an 0-for-23 streak Friday, going 2-for-4 with a home run and then 2-for-5 Saturday.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• CSN Chicago

On radio
• WSCR 670-AM

Up next
• Monday-Wednesday: All-Star break

Leslie Parker is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.