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Yankees put end to streak

Contreras's run is halted at 17

NEW YORK -- Jose Contreras's streak of winning decisions came full circle and ended against the team and pitcher it started against.

Melky Cabrera's RBI single put the Yankees in front during a three-run eighth inning and New York hung on to beat the Chicago White Sox, 6-5, last night, snapping Contreras's run at 17 wins.

Contreras (9-1) hadn't lost since dropping a 4-2 decision to Minnesota last Aug. 15. The streak started six days later when he pitched eight innings in a 6-2 victory over Randy Johnson and the Yankees, his former team.

``I would've liked the streak to continue but I wasn't really thinking about it," Contreras said through an interpreter. ``I felt very good today. I had all my pitches going and I felt strong."

Kyle Farnsworth (3-4) pitched a perfect eighth, and Mariano Rivera worked the ninth for his 20th save in 22 chances. Rivera allowed two runs before he got pinch hitter A.J. Pierzynski to fly out to right with a runner on third to end it.

``The last one was really the only one I had a chance to do anything with," Pierzynski said of the 10-pitch at-bat. ``The thing about Mariano is you wait for him to miss and he doesn't miss."

Contreras allowed Alex Rodriguez's leadoff single in the eighth before he was relieved by Matt Thornton. He gave up a single to Jorge Posada and walked Bernie Williams to load the bases.

Brandon McCarthy came in and struck out pinch hitter Andy Phillips before White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen replaced him with Neal Cotts. Cabrera then hit an 0-1 pitch from Cotts up the middle to give New York a 4-3 lead.

Cabrera, who popped out with the bases loaded to end the fourth, said he was able to put that missed opportunity behind him.

``What happened in the fourth has nothing to do with what happened in the ninth or in the bottom of the eighth," he said through an interpreter. ``I just went up there with one thing in mind, just to do the job."

Miguel Cairo added a sacrifice fly, and Johnny Damon also had an RBI double in the inning for the Yankees, who got a solid outing from Johnson in their first game after the All-Star break. New York has won five of six.

Contreras, traded by the Yankees to Chicago two years ago, allowed seven hits, walked three and struck out three.

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