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Jose Quintana denied 10th win, Royals win in 14th

Jose Quintana throws in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. He allowed one run over 7 1/3 innings. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Wins are good. Winning is the name of the game, after all.

That said, White Sox All-Star left-hander Jose Quintana shouldn’t be shamed by the fact he has won only nine games in each of his last three seasons, despite pitching consistently good.

“It’s kind of like saying a guy hits the ball hard but his average isn’t very good,’’ Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Every pitcher wants wins. You’re here to win games, and those starters, they want their names attached to it. They want it right next to their names.’’

Quintana pitched against the Kansas City Royals like he wanted badly to be in double digits for wins for the first time in his career, but was denied despite another stellar effort. He left after 97 pitches with a 1-0 lead in the eighth inning after allowing a one-out double to Paulo Orlando, but Nate Jones gave up a tying double to Cheslor Cuthbert. The result? Quintana’s 58th no-decision, the most by any pitcher in the major leagues since 2012.

As usual, the Sox (54-59) gave him their customary poor run support in 3-2 loss, a game decided on Lorenzo Cain’s two-out RBI single against Matt Albers scoring Christian Colon from second in the 14th inning. Also wasted was a remarkable escape job by lefty reliever Dan Jennings, who struck out Sal Butera, Alex Gordon and Alcides Escobar in order after Jarrod Dyson led off the 13th with a triple.

J.B. Shuck homered against right-hander Ian Kennedy in the third inning, his fourth of the season, and that was all the Sox could muster until rookie shortstop Tim Anderson, who struck out five times to tie Ray Durham’s franchise record (June, 1998 vs. Cubs) hit a soft single over first baseman Eric Hosmer to score Todd Frazier in the 11th. The Royals tied it in the bottom of the 11th against struggling Sox closer David Robertson, who walked Eric Hosmer leading off and gave up the tying double to Salvador Perez.

Leadoff walks are … the first thing you look at and guys getting good swings at him first pitch,” Ventura said. “You have to be better, has to be sharper. We’re not telling him something he doesn’t feel.”

Since July 23, Robertson has blown four of eight save opportunities, giving up nine runs over 11 innings.

“Arm wise and velocity wise he’s where he was, just not quite as sharp,” Ventura said. “The swings lefties are getting on him, maybe the cutter isn’t as big as it’s been.”

The Sox had good chances in the sixth, seventh and eighth getting two or three runners on each time but did not score. In the seventh, Shuck singled sharply to center fielder Paulo Orlando with catcher Omar Narvaez (walk) on second and Tyler Saladino (single) on first, but Orlando threw out Narvaez on a close play at home. A replay challenge was upheld.

“Both teams had a lot of opportunities,” Ventura said. “You feel for Q.”

Quintana, a late addition to the AL All-Star team by Royals manager Ned Yost, has pitched his way into the Cy Young conversation as well.

“He should be,’’ Ventura said. “His numbers speak for themselves. There’s only so much he can do as far as what our team does scoring but everything else he does is pretty impressive.’’

At 2.85, Quintana is tied with Aaron Sanchez for the AL ERA lead. He gave up one run on four hits and one walk while striking out five Wednesday. Wednesday marked the 10th time in his last 16 starts he received one run of support or less.

“I’ve never got to 10 wins, but I have my focus on more than that,” said Quintana, unbeaten in his last seven starts with a 4-0 record and 2.11 ERA during that span.

Pitching coach Don Cooper was ejected after Quintana’s fifth pitch arguing balls and strikes with umpire Pat Hoberg. At least Quintana had that for support.

“It was a tough game today,” Quintana said. “One of those games you try to keep fighting all game, try to keep throwing good pitches. The weather was bad [hot] tonight, and I just tried to get quick outs. I tried to throw good quality pitches. But we had a tough game. That’s a bad one when you go into extra innings and you lose.”