DETROIT · Jose Contreras made the New York Yankees’ rotation a little more crowded.
Contreras made an impressive pitch to win a stay in the rotation, allowing two hits in seven innings in his first career start as the Yankees beat Detroit 6-0 Friday night behind two homers by Jason Giambi.
Contreras, who left Cuba and signed a $32 million, four-year contract with New York in the offseason, got a one-start trial in place of an injured David Wells.
But with a strong first start, Jeff Weaver’s recent struggles and owner George Steinbrenner’s public wishes for Contreras to join the rotation, the Cuban defector’s stay might not be so brief.
The Yankees have won three in a row following a season-high five-game skid, and coupled with Boston’s loss in Toronto, they moved a half-game ahead of the Red Sox in the AL East.
Contreras posted a 15.63 ERA through his first six relief appearances. But after struggling in his first game back from the minors, Contreras allowed one hit in five scoreless innings his past two outings.