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Contreras is unstoppable

Podsednik's slam shuts door on Astros

His splitter wasn't wreaking its usual havoc, nor was his breaking ball or fastball. Still, Jose Contreras did enough to set a club record.

The righthander won his team-record 16th straight decision, Scott Podsednik hit his first career grand slam, and the host Chicago White Sox won a World Series rematch by beating the Houston Astros, 7-4, last night for their eighth straight win.

``It's a big deal, especially when you pitch for the Chicago White Sox," Contreras said through an interpreter. ``So many pitchers have gone through here. I'm really proud. It's my record now. It's something for me, personally, but the most important thing is that we won and we're playing great right now."

Eight months after helping the White Sox sweep Houston for their first World Series championship since 1917, Podsednik and Contreras again found themselves in the middle of the action.

Podsednik, who ended Game 2 of the World Series at U.S. Cellular Field with a home run, went deep against Andy Pettitte (6-8) with two out in the fourth to make it 6-0. The four RBIs tied a career high for Podsednik, who also tripled.

Contreras (8-0), who won Game 1 of the Series, left to a standing ovation after allowing an RBI double off the left-field wall by Chris Burke that cut the lead to 6-4 with one out in the seventh.

Contreras, 16-0 in his last 21 regular-season starts since losing to Minnesota last Aug. 15, took sole possession of the club record for consecutive wins, surpassing LaMarr Hoyt and Wilson Alvarez. It is the majors' longest streak since the Twins' Johan Santana won 17 consecutive decisions from July 2004 to April 2005.

Yankees 6, Marlins 5 -- Jorge Posada drove in three runs to back Chien-Ming Wang (8-3), and New York cooled off Florida.

Making their first trip to Yankee Stadium since winning the 2003 World Series, the young Marlins lost for only the second time in 12 games. Managed by ex-Yankee catcher and coach Joe Girardi, they are 20-8 since May 22 after starting the season 11-31.

Braves 4, Devil Rays 3 -- Todd Pratt's RBI grounder in the 11th inning helped visiting Atlanta end its longest losing streak in 18 years at 10 games.

The win came with a cost, though, as starting pitcher John Smoltz left with a strained right groin in the second inning.

Tigers 10, Cardinals 6 -- Brandon Inge and Curtis Granderson homered to help host Detroit beat St. Louis.

The Cardinals' Albert Pujols went 4 for 4 with his 26th homer and a walk in his second game since coming off the disabled list (strained oblique).

Athletics 4, Giants 3 -- Nick Swisher drove in the go-ahead run with a ninth-inning triple, and visiting Oakland rallied for victory in the opener of the Bay Bridge Series.

Barry Bonds stole second base and scored on Pedro Feliz's single in the eighth to put San Francisco up, 3-2, but the A's rallied for two runs to post their 12th win in 14 games.

Twins 7, Cubs 2 -- Johan Santana (8-4) threw eight excellent innings -- 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, 5 hits -- and host Minnesota got its 12th win in 14 games to move two games above .500 for the first time this year.

Rangers 8, Rockies 6 -- Mark Teixeira and Hank Blalock hit back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning and visiting Texas rallied to beat Colorado.

Reds 3, Indians 0 -- Aaron Harang (8-5) pitched his third career shutout and Ryan Freel had a career-high five hits to lead Cincinnati over Cleveland.

Orioles 2, Nationals 1 -- Rodrigo Lopez (5-8) allowed one run in seven innings and Chris Ray bounced back from his first blown save of the season, pitching a perfect ninth to seal host Baltimore's victory.

Brewers 7, Royals 2 -- Dave Bush (5-6) pitched effectively into the eighth inning, and Geoff Jenkins drove in three runs to lead visiting Milwaukee.

Angels 8, Diamondbacks 2 -- Mike Napoli (3 for 3 with three RBIs) and Orlando Cabrera hit home runs and Ervin Santana (8-3) won his fourth straight start to lead visiting Los Angeles over Arizona.

Padres 2, Mariners 1 -- Brian Giles threw out a runner at the plate in the ninth inning and singled home the winning run in the 10th to give host San Diego the win.

Dodgers 10, Pirates 4 -- Brett Tomko (6-6) snapped a string of five consecutive losing starts despite leaving with an injury (strained left oblique) and host Los Angeles gave former manager Jim Tracy a rude welcome back with a rout of Pittsburgh in the only National League game.

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