For the second consecutive game, it appeared the White Sox’ starting pitcher might be in for a long day.
After Chris Sale yielded two runs in the first inning before stranding the bases loaded Saturday, Jose Quintana allowed a double and a walk to the first two Minnesota Twins he faced Sunday. But the Sox’ defense rescued him from what appeared to be certain trouble.
Center fielder Austin Jackson caught a sinking liner by Miguel Sano, then took advantage of a Twins baserunning mistake to bail out Quintana and start the Sox on their way to a 3-1 victory at U.S. Cellular Field. The result gave the Sox a sweep of the three-game series.
Jackson doubled off Eduardo Nunez, who surprisingly took off from second on Sano’s liner. The double play helped Quintana get out of the first unscathed.
‘‘It was good for me, good for us,’’ Quintana said. ‘‘I’ll take it.’’
After escaping that potentially troublesome start, Quintana (5-1) settled down. He retired 10 consecutive hitters at one point and allowed one run and six hits with five strikeouts in seven innings.
‘‘Guys that can pitch like Jose, you’re going to get [defensive] help,’’ Sox manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘It can only help you.’’
Jackson snapped a 1-1 tie with an RBI double in the fifth. The Sox added another run when Avisail Garcia reached on a third-strike wild pitch and scored on a double by Dioner Navarro in the seventh.
Jackson then turned in another defensive gem in the ninth, helping closer David Robertson earn his 10th save.
Oswaldo Arcia started the ninth with a deep fly ball to the gap in right-center field. Jackson got a good jump on a ball that Ventura didn’t think he could catch and that Robertson worried might leave the ballpark and made a running catch.
Asked afterward whether there was any doubt he would get to the ball, Jackson didn’t waver.
‘‘I’ve always said that if I can get to it, I’ve got a good chance of catching it,’’ Jackson said.
As he rounded first base, Arcia tipped his helmet in Jackson’s direction to salute the catch. And Quintana’s words rang true for Robertson, too: ‘‘Good for me, good for us.’’
Like Quintana, Robertson said he was happy Jackson came to his rescue.
‘‘I wasn’t mad about it,’’ Robertson said. ‘‘I was definitely glad he caught it.’’
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