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06/15/09 2:32 PM ET

Contreras takes home AL weekly award

White Sox right-hander had perfect record, ERA in 16 innings

White Sox right-hander Jose Contreras punctuated his comeback from a severe Achilles injury by earning American League Player of the Week presented by Bank of America honors for the period ending Sunday.

Contreras posted a spotless ERA of 0.00 in 16 innings in winning both of his decisions -- his first wins of the season -- to claim the weekly award for the first time in his career.

He allowed a total of only three hits in the victories over Detroit on June 8 and Milwaukee on Saturday, while striking out 11. The 16 straight scoreless innings marked a career-high for Contreras, who in the process accounted for a unique distinction.

Having returned to the Minors -- at his own request -- to regain his touch after completing his rehab from the tendon injury that had shelved him for the final two months of last season, last Monday's start against the Tigers had been Contreras' first Major League appearance since May 8.

He thus became only the second pitcher since 1900 to go eight-plus innings and allow one hit with at least 30 days between appearances. Montreal's Kirk Reuter had been the first, firing a one-hit shutout over the Giants on Aug, 27, 1995, off a three-month Minor League stint.

Other contenders for the weekly award included catcher Miguel Olivo (league-leading 21 total bases) and infielder Alberto Callaspo (eight RBIs) of the Royals; Angels outfielder Torii Hunter (league-best 1.053 slugging percentage on four home runs, three of them in Saturday's game); and Blue Jays third baseman Scott Rolen (.500 batting average and .571 on-base percentage).

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.