An anticipated reunion between Chris Sale and the White Sox, spruced up by the best pairing the Sox could seemingly present in fellow left-hander Jose Quintana, flopped in almost every which way Tuesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Sale allowed six runs and lasted five innings, and Quintana couldn’t finish the third in the Red Sox’ 13-7 victory before 21,852 fans. It was Sale’s worst outing of the season and Quintana’s too, although it took a flip through the struggling Quintana’s season logs to verify that.
The White Sox’ newly appointed ace in the aftermath of Sale getting traded to Boston for prospects during the offseason, Quintana (2-7, 5.60 ERA) already has outings of six, five, eight and seven runs allowed, the latter two in his last two starts. He gave up three of the Red Sox’ six homers over 2‰ innings.
“Embarrassing,’’ Quintana said.
“I stunk tonight,’’ Sale said.
In his last start against the Diamondbacks in Phoenix last Wednesday, Quintana retired the first 10 batters but failed to finish the fifth inning, giving up eight runs and eight hits.
The Red Sox clipped Quintana for seven runs and 10 hits, but Sale (6-2) had all he could do to qualify for the win, finishing up with a scoreless fifth after the White Sox pounced on him for three runs in the second, one in the third and two in the fourth on Todd Frazier’s two-run homer.
“I clearly didn’t have it tonight,’’ said Sale, who was at least good enough to strike out nine. “I don’t know how many times I’ve given up six runs and been in a good mood after the game.
“I was actually looking forward to this, pitching against my friends. Q is like a brother to me. By no means am I glad this is over. I wish I had enjoyed it more.’’
After the Red Sox spotted Sale a 4-0 lead in the second, Leury Garcia singled in a run and Jose Abreu singled in two more in the bottom of the inning before Frazier — who made a playful “Edward Scissorhands” reference to Sale’s uniform-cutting caper last season before the game — connected for his seventh homer with a man on in the fourth.
“Chris Sale gave us everything he had for five innings,’’ Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
“To their credit, they fought off some good pitches. When he made a mistake, they made him pay for it.’’
Perhaps the worst of it for Quintana was giving up two homers to No. 9 hitter Deven Marrero. Mookie Betts also took Quintana deep.
“I need to look at video and have better sequences,’’ Quintana said.
Quintana was thought to be general manager Rick Hahn’s most valued trade piece in the Sox’ rebuilding design, but his first 12 starts of 2017 have taken the shine off his first five consistently good seasons. Hahn and manager Rick Renteria maintain the trade rumors aren’t affecting Quintana’s pitching.
Said Sale: “If I had advice for him, I’d pick up the phone and call him. We’ve been texting back and forth, even after the game tonight. It’s tough, it’s tough for anybody. But it’s part of it. He’s as good as they get; everybody that knows him knows that. I think he’s professional enough to put that aside and just kind of carry on with what he needs to do.”
Sale received a nice ovation when he took the mound, many of the fans standing.
“It’s special,’’ he said. “This is where I called home for a long time. A little piece of my heart will always be here, for sure. I appreciated it. I did everything I could while I was here for the team, for the fans, for the city, and to get that same respect back is nice.’’
Follow me on Twitter @CST_soxvan.