Strong pitching big key for White Sox

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Carlos Rodon joined the rotation May 9 and has given the Sox quality starts in five of his six outings. | Jon Durr/Getty Images

The White Sox played to their strengths Wednesday.

Jose Quintana made a third consecutive quality start, and home runs by Adam LaRoche, Geovany Soto and Jose Abreu were enough to give the Sox a 4-1 victory and a three-game sweep of the Houston

Astros.

The Sox overcame three fielding errors and three runners caught stealing. To be sure, defense and base-running aren’t — and will never be — strengths of these Sox.

Strong starting pitching and a revamped, run-producing lineup were what the Sox counted on after splurging on free agents during the offseason. Those qualities were on display this week, and the result was a sweep of the AL West leaders.

Left-handed pitchers Chris Sale, Carlos Rodon and Quintana carried the Sox, and they’ll need to remain in their current form if the South Siders — who have the worst run differential in the American League — are going to get back into contention.

Quintana said the home sweep just might be what the Sox needed to come together for a midseason run.

‘‘Every day we have a chance to win a game, and I tried to help the team out to be more together,’’ he said. ‘‘I will try to continue that as we are looking for first place in the division.’’

Sale has been lights-out after a few sluggish starts early in the season. He’s in the middle of a historic run, allowing only one run and striking out 39 in his last three starts.

Rodon joined the rotation May 9 and has given the Sox quality starts in five of his six outings.

And Quintana has been his usual self, plugging along with solid outings despite a general lack of run support.

The Sox proved they can beat good teams if they continue to take advantage of their strengths. Beating the Astros was a good start before a five-game road trip to Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh.

‘‘They’re dangerous,’’ White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of the Astros. ‘‘You feel fortunate to get out of this and move them on to somebody else because they’re going to be a tough team to play.’’

Follow me on Twitter @davidjustCST.

Email: djust@suntimes.com

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