One crooked number was all it took for the White Sox and left-hander Jose Quintana to take care of the Minnesota Twins Saturday night.
Rookie Trayce Thompson started a seven-run fourth inning with a double down the right field line against Sox nemesis Tommy Milone and added an RBI single to right field against Blaine Boyer as the Sox sent 11 batters to the plate to match their season high in one frame in an 8-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins. Boyer added to the Sox’ fun, to the delight of 26,065 fans, by throwing away a pickoff attempt at third base.
Jose Quintana (9-10, 3.53 ERA) gave up two runs – one earned – in the first before stringing together five scoreless innings. With 49 no-decisions — the most in the majors since 2012– and an average of 3.60 run support this season, Quintana is the poster child for tough-luck pitchers.
“Deep down inside he’s probably ecstatic,” manager Robin Ventura said. “He doesn’t like to show it, but when you’ve gone through what he’s gone through of not getting runs, he will sleep well tonight.”
“Tonight, it was nice to get support,” Quintana said. “Good for me.”
Five relievers, including Matt Albers who made his 13th consecutive scoreless appearance, combined on three scoreless inning.
Carlos Sanchez had the big hit in the fourth, a bases loaded double that scored two runs. The double followed a sacrifice bunt by Geovany Soto, who reached first on third baseman Trevor Plouffe’s throwing error. Adam Eaton (3-for-4) followed the Sanchez double with an RBI single.
“Geo with a big bunt that ends up he’s safe on that play, which turned it at that point,” Ventura said. “Guys swinging the bat, Sanchy with the big hit. One of the things we’ve been looking for is guys getting hits with guys in scoring position, and it all happened in that inning. It just continued to go. They made a couple of mistakes there, and we capitalized on them.”
Thompson went 2-for-4, hiking his average to .415 as he continues to make a good showing since being called up from AAA Charlotte.
“It was nice to get that inning,” Thompson said. “It was exciting, the crowd was getting into it and it was a lot of fun. It was a good night.”
Thompson said it was the first he had two hits in his career, minor leagues or majors included.
“I always make one out and then usually the last out and I was kind of trying to psych myself up and be like ‘You can do this.’ It’s just nice to help the team and contribute.”
The Sox also scored seven runs in an inning against the Tigers on April 18.
First baseman Jose Abreu had a rough first inning in what was one of the Sox’ worst defensive innings of the season. Abreu made an error on a Joe Mauer slow grounder, then, after cutting off Avisail Garcia’s throw after Plouffe’s single, waited too long during a rundown play to get an out. The Twins then scored one of their two runs on a passed ball by Soto, the Sox catcher. Quintana also walked two in the first.
“The first inning was ugly all the way around, pitching, defense, you name it,” Ventura said. “To bounce back from that was a good sign. [Quintana is] always able to do that, but the first inning just didn’t leave a good taste in your mouth of how we want to play baseball.”
The Sox are 67-73. The Twins, pursuing a wild card berth, fell to 73-68. Milone (8-5), a soft-tossing left-hander, was 3-0 with a 0.87 ERA in three previous starts against the Sox