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Quintana drops sixth straight decision in Sox’ loss to Royals

Jose Quintana’s luck didn’t change, and it’s fair to wonder when — or if — it will.

The White Sox left-hander, who lost his sixth consecutive decision in a 4-1 loss to the Royals on Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field, was again the victim of an offense that didn’t show up.

“I’m sure he’s frustrated,” third baseman Todd Frazier said. “He should be.”

And he was.

Jose Quintana delivers in the first inning against the Royals on Saturday. | Jeff Haynes/AP

“I feel frustrated,” Quintana said. “But I don’t have control over that. I’ll try to come back tomorrow and start preparing for my next start.”

He has had four quality starts in his last six outings, including Saturday, when he allowed three runs in eight innings. Quintana gave up three solo home runs — two to Cheslor Cuthbert — and gave his offense every opportunity to win the game.

Instead, Sox hitters made Royals starter Danny Duffy look like an All-Star. He had a career-high 10 strikeouts.

Quintana has lost 17 games since the start of the 2015 season, and the offense has scored three runs or fewer in every game. In 13 of those starts, the Sox have scored one run or fewer.

“I wish we had an explanation for it, to be honest with you,” outfielder Adam Eaton said. “We’re almost apologizing to the guy because it’s been so difficult to score him runs, and we don’t understand why. Everyone in this clubhouse feels awful when we can’t produce for him.”

That’s not to say the Sox didn’t have their chances.

Adam Eaton walked and Jose Abreu singled to start the Sox’ first. Then Melky Cabrera, the team’s hottest hitter, put down a sacrifice bunt. But Frazier struck out, and Brett Lawrie lined out to end the threat.

Manager Robin Ventura was asked why Cabrera bunted.

“He decided to do that on his own,” Ventura said, noncommittal on whether he supported the call. “He’s up there sensing the situation. I think he thought we could get on the board early by getting them over.”

Frazier took responsibility for the scoreless first.

“I’ve got to put the ball in play, bottom line,” Frazier said. “Four-hole hitter, I’ve got to do my job. Three pitches. Pretty embarrassing, to be honest with you. I didn’t do my job. It’s nothing on him.”

Two batters also reached in the second and third but didn’t score. The Royals retired 17 consecutive hitters until the ninth, when Frazier singled. He scored on a two-out single by Avisail Garcia.

The Sox have lost 13 of their last 17 and 21 of their last 29. Quintana is 5-7 despite a 2.66 ERA.

“You’ve just got to fight through it,” Ventura said. “He’s not giving up, I know that. He’s always going to go out there and battling, that’s never changed. After the game, he can probably feel that way for a little, but when he comes in here tomorrow, he’s the same guy.”

Follow me on Twitter @davidjustCST.