ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- After a slow start this year, Bartolo
Colon is beginning to earn every penny of his $51 million contract.
Colon (15-11) pitched seven sharp innings to lead Anaheim over
the Chicago White Sox 11-0 Sunday. It was his 10th win in 13
decisions after a 5-8 start in his first season with the Angels,
who remained two games behind first-place Oakland in the AL West.
The stocky right-hander, who signed a four-year deal with
Anaheim as a free agent last winter after spending 2003 with the
White Sox, said his turnaround this season has been mainly a matter
"I made a change to pitch from the first-base side of the mound
rather than the middle," Colon said through a translator after
holding his former teammates to six hits. "It's much better for
running my fastball in and out."
He did that and more against Chicago.
"I was able to throw strikes when I needed, and I didn't even
have to go to my fastball to do it," said Colon, who struck out
six and walked one. "I could throw all my pitches to either side
of the plate.
"I know a lot of guys on that club and they know my pitches, so
mixing it up was important."
"Bart was great against a good offensive club. We got a lead
and he kept putting up zeros so we could extend it," Angels
manager Mike Scioscia said.
Chicago's Paul Konerko, who singled and struck out three times,
complimented his former teammate.
"With a big lead, he was throwing strikes," Konerko said. "He
pounded us. He went right after us."
Coming off a 13-6 loss on Saturday, the Angels staked Colon to a
7-0 lead by the third inning and took two of three games from
Chicago. They moved within five games of Boston for the wild-card
Anaheim's Darin Erstad left the game after the fourth because of
tightness in his lower back. He singled twice, scored twice and had
an RBI. Scioscia said there was no serious problem and he doesn't
expect Erstad to miss any playing time.
Vladimir Guerrero, Anderson and Jose Guillen each drove in a run
as Anaheim took a 3-0 lead in the first. The Angels scored three
more in the second. Anderson had a two-out, two-run double, and
Erstad singled home another run.
Jose Molina made it 7-0 with an RBI double in the third.
Contreras lost for the fourth time in five starts. He has
allowed 15 runs and 15 hits in his last two outings, which lasted a
combined 4 2-3 innings.
Acquired from the New York Yankees at the July 31 trade deadline
for Esteban Loaiza, Contreras was roughed up for eight runs and
five hits in 1 2-3 innings of a 10-3 loss to Texas last Tuesday.
The Cuban right-hander went 3-0 with a 3.04 ERA in his first four
starts after coming to Chicago.
"Contreras has a great arm and he's had success," Chicago
manager Ozzie Guillen said. "But he's not doing what he wants to
do. So next time, we'll let him throw what he wants.
"I hope he'll be relieved to hear that."
Contreras, speaking through a translator, said he already was
throwing what he wanted.
"I was calling my own pitches. But my location was wrong; my
fastballs were too high," he said.
The crowd of 41,932 put the Angels over the 3 million mark
in attendance for the second year in a row -- and just the second
time ever. ... The Angels won the season series 5-4. ... Chicago's
Carlos Lee went 0-for-3, ending a 10-game hitting streak. ...
Anaheim DH Tim Salmon will undergo cartilage replacement surgery on
his left knee this week. The 36-year-old Salmon also will have
surgery on his left shoulder this winter. He said he still hopes to