Jose Quintana's brilliant end to 2015 carried over into his first start for the Chicago White Sox. His dominance on the mound figures to continue against the Cleveland Indians.
Quintana has had his most success when facing Cleveland, and he'll look to pitch Chicago to a series win Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field.
The left-hander went 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in five September starts and opened 2016 by allowing two runs and striking out seven with no walks in 5 2-3 innings before Jimmy Rollins hit a tiebreaking homer in the ninth to give the White Sox a 5-4 win at Oakland on Tuesday.
Quintana left with a two-run lead but was handed his 53rd no-decision, the most in the majors since he began his career in 2012.
"The most important thing here is taking the W," Quintana said. "That's part of the game. It happens sometimes. We won the game, that's most important."
Half of Quintana's 12 starts against Cleveland have resulted in no-decisions, though he's 5-1 with a 2.80 ERA in those outings for his most wins against any opponent.
Quintana went 2-1 with a 0.82 ERA in three matchups last season, including his only career complete game in a 6-0 win at Cleveland on July 24. The Indians hitter to have the most success against him is Michael Brantley - 13 for 27 with five extra-base hits - but he's out with a shoulder problem.
The Cleveland lineup Quintana will be facing this time was cooled off Saturday. After scoring seven runs in winning each of their previous two games, including Friday's series opener, the Indians lost 7-3.
They were done in by a five-run seventh inning that included a three-run homer by Avisail Garcia. Jose Abreu went 2 for 2 with a solo home run and two walks as the White Sox improved to 4-2 after opening 0-4 last season and finishing with 86 losses.
"Just shows the attitude, the difference, whatever it is, we've got it," winning pitcher Chris Sale said.
Josh Tomlin will make his season debut for the Indians (2-2) after going 7-2 with a 3.02 ERA and two complete games in 10 starts last season. He didn't make his first appearance until mid-August following shoulder surgery.
A pair of postponements in Cleveland's opening series against Boston delayed Tomlin's debut. His last outing came in spring training March 29, giving him 11 days between starts.
"I don't know if I'm better equipped than anybody else, but I've done it before," Tomlin told MLB's official website. "So it's not anything new to me. I feel like I can handle it. For me, it's not about losing my stuff. It's about staying sharp. It's staying on the edges of the plate and being able to throw pitches for strikes."
The right-hander was 0-2 with a 4.24 ERA in his first four starts against the White Sox before beating them twice in September behind a 2.38 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 11 1-3 innings.
He's had trouble with Chicago center fielder Austin Jackson, who is 7 for 16 with a homer, three doubles and a triple in their matchups, and Abreu has gone 3 for 5 with a home run and a double.
Tomlin has held Adam Eaton to one hit in nine at-bats, but he won't have the luxury of facing him after Eaton left the White Sox on Saturday for the birth of his first child.