Contreras, hurrying to keep the ball from going foul, missed it, and the lumbering Ortiz chugged by him.
"He didn't give up and stand at home, which would have made it look terrible," Mike Lowell said of Ortiz. "I'm sure he kicked it in a little gear. It's kind of like me. There's not too many gears there."
But there's plenty of power.
Lowell's three-run homer, his 16th of the year, capped the six-run rally that made it 7-4. That inning also featured two walks, a hit batsman and a wild pitch but only two hits.
"We didn't lose the game, we gave it away," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.
The Red Sox did plenty of hitting after the wild inning as they scored at least 11 runs for the third time in four games and have 65 in their last seven.
"I don't think it's fair to think we're going to go out there and score 12 a game," Jason Bay said. "At the same time, I don't think there's one guy in here that's surprised at this little run we've been on."
The Red Sox moved to within seven games of first-place New York in the AL East and 1 1/2 games ahead of Texas in the wild-card race. The Yankees and Rangers were idle Monday.
J.D. Drew also hit his 16th homer for Boston in the first meeting of the year between the teams, the latest they've ever faced each other for the first time.
Contreras (5-12) allowed only one earned run but contributed greatly to all seven he allowed in 2 2/3 innings. Guillen said Contreras, 1-5 in his last eight starts, is being removed from the rotation.
"Jose's going to be in the bullpen and I don't know who's taking his spot," he said. "I think enough's enough."
Then Contreras lost control and squandered Chicago's 4-1 lead.
He walked Victor Martinez and hit Kevin Youkilis with a pitch, loading the bases. Ortiz grounded the ball down the first-base line and Contreras hurried over to field it before it went foul. He reached down as the ball was about three-quarters of the way to the base but failed to pick it up and Ortiz ran past him as Gonzalez scored.
"As soon as the ball was hit I saw the ball going down the line and didn't want it to go foul in that situation of the game and may have rushed," Contreras said through a translator.
That kept the rally alive and Boston scored five more runs in the inning. They came in on a bases-loaded walk to Bay, a wild pitch and a Lowell's homer.
"That inning was kind of crazy," Lowell said. "It didn't seem like we did much to earn those three runs, but I think it was good that we swung the bats after that really well, not just accepting that we maybe stole a few runs"
The Red Sox added two runs in the fourth on Pedroia's sacrifice fly and Youkilis' RBI single.
Konerko's homer cut the lead to two runs in the fifth. Then the White Sox loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh on two walks and a hit batsman. But Carlos Quentin flied out.
Boston made it 12-7 in the bottom of the seventh, scoring on Drew's homer, Ellsbury's triple and Pedroia's double.
The Red Sox had two homers one day after their team record streak of eight multihomer games was broken in an 8-4 loss to the New York Yankees. In the first two games of that series, the Yankees won 20-11 before the Red Sox came back for a 14-1 victory.
The White Sox had taken a 2-0 lead in the second on A.J. Pierzynski's RBI single and Alexei Ramirez's sacrifice fly. Boston scored a run in the bottom of the inning when Drew tried to steal second and Bay scored from third before Drew was tagged for the final out.
Gordon Beckham hit a two-run homer for Chicago in the fourth, his eighth.
Chicago RHP Jake Peavy pitched five scoreless innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte, allowing four hits and two walks with three strikeouts. ... Boston RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched three shutout innings in a rehab start for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla. He struck out four and allowed no hits and one walk. His next start is set for Saturday for Double-A Portland at Manchester. ... Jermaine Dye went 0 for 4 and is batting .180 since the All-Star break. ... Lowell has 23 RBIs in 21 games.