SEATTLE – Jose Quintana worked out of trouble in the final three innings of a strong six-inning outing to record his third straight win, and the White Sox hit three home runs to bounce back from a “gut-wrenching” loss the night before to defeat the Seattle Mariners 6-1 Tuesday night at Safeco Field.
Brett Lawrie homered in the second and Melky Cabrera hit a tiebreaking shot leading off the seventh against left-hander Wade Miley and Todd Frazier padded the lead with a two-run shot against Joaquin Benoit in the ninth as the Sox (46-47) halted a five-game losing streak.
“We need this game, and we took it,” Quintana said. “Tomorrow we’re back to take the series.”
Quintana (8-8, 3.13), in his first start after pitching a scoreless inning in his first All-Star Game, won for the third straight time after going 0-7 in his previous nine starts. The lefthander struck out five of the first seven batters he faced, gave up a homer to Robinson Cano in the fourth and then stranded seven baserunners over the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
“The way Q has been pitching you get him a couple and he’s going to do something with it,” manager Robin Ventura said. “The solo homers are nice but late, to put some on and separate is the best thing. It shows a little fight, especially as tough as last night was.’’
Lawrie’s homer, his 12th of the season and first since June 29, moved him past Jose Abreu for second on the team behind Frazier (27).
Quintana, who ranked last in the American League with 3.21 run support, was positioned for a win after Cabrera homered and J.B. Shuck added an RBI single in the seventh, turning a 3-1 lead over to the bullpen.
A night after closer David Robertson allowed four runs in the ninth to blow a 3-0 lead for Chris Sale, the Sox got three perfect innings from the bullpen, including a 1-2-3 seventh from left-hander Zach Duke at the top of the Mariners lineup, four outs from Nate Jones and the last two from 2015 first-round draft pick Carson Fulmer, in his second appearance. Fulmer, who hasn’t allowed a run, struck out Leonys Martin and got pinch-hitter Adam Lind, who hit a walk-off homer against Robertson on Monday, on a grounder to first.
“You want him to experience that,” Ventura said. “You want him to be later in the game, you know they’re going to pinch hit a couple guys … you want to give him that and see what he can do with it.”
Miguel Gonzalez goes against the Mariners Felix Hernandez, who hasn’t pitched since late May because of a calf strain, in the series finale Wendesday afternoon.
“It’s good to finally get the one out of the way and be able to relax again and hopefully get back on a roll,” Shuck said.
“Obviously we’re all kind of pressing a little bit. To get a little bigger lead and have the guys come in and say hey all you have to do is throw strikes, we’ll get the outs. It’s definitely a plus to be able to tack on some late.”