Quintana stars, White Sox hold on for 4-2 win over Brewers
MILWAUKEE (AP) Jose Quintana finally got some run support.
Staked to a 3-0 lead before even taking the mound, the left-hander got a win after three hard-luck starts.
Quintana struck out 10 and allowed four hits in seven solid innings before closer David Robertson escaped trouble in the ninth in Chicago's 4-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night.
Chicago, which had a major-league worst three road wins entering the game, won their first road series of the season after taking two of three from last-place Milwaukee.
It's in large part due to Quintana (2-3), who got into a rhythm by locating his fastball and hitting the corners with his other pitches.
He was focused on the bigger picture for the White Sox.
''For the series, tonight if we won, we get the series. That's better for us,'' he said.
The victory ended a frustrating stretch for Quintana, who was 0-2 with a 2.37 ERA in his three previous starts. The White Sox averaged less than two runs over those three games.
On Wednesday night, Quintana had a three-run lead before throwing a pitch.
Melky Cabrera's sacrifice fly scored Adam Eaton in the first before cleanup hitter Avisail Garcia and Adam LaRoche hit back-to-back solo shots to center with two outs off Jimmy Nelson (1-4) for a 3-0 lead.
''It helped my confidence. I was able to get out quickly and go longer in the game,'' Quintana said.
The Brewers made things interesting in the ninth after Carlos Gomez hit a solo homer off Robertson. Adam Lind then walked to put the tying run at the plate with one out.
Martin Maldonado lined out before Robertson got Hector Gomez to strike out on a 1-2 curveball for his seventh save.
The Brewers lost their second straight game, but still finished Craig Counsell's first homestand as manager at 5-5. That's promising for a team that fired Counsell's predecessor, Ron Roenicke, following a 7-18 start.
''It's a disappointing way to end. I thought we really battled tonight though, man,'' Counsell said.
Quintana's start followed an eight-inning gem on Tuesday night by fellow left-hander Chris Sale. The White Sox bullpen got some needed relief after the pitching staff was taxed during last weekend's series with the Reds.
''For Chris to get the first one yesterday and Q coming back and almost going eight, that's important to kind of get that mindset going for those guys,'' manager Robin Ventura said.
Nelson has allowed five homers in his last two starts. Location was a problem with the homer to LaRoche after Nelson's sinker didn't move down and away from the left-handed slugger.
He gave up eight hits and four runs in 6 2/3 innings in losing his second straight start. But Nelson can take pride in pitching better after the first inning.
''Three runs in the first - you have eight innings to come back from that. I just tried to pretend like it never happened,'' Nelson said.
Elian Herrera finished 1 for 4 with a single, but had his streak of three straight games with a home run come to an end. Herrera is filling in for the injured Aramis Ramirez at third base.
White Sox: LaRoche started at first for slugger Jose Abreu, who got a day to rest after playing all but one inning of the team's first 30 games. Chicago is off Thursday, so Abreu will have received two days off when the team opens a three-game series Friday in Oakland.
Brewers: SS Jean Segura was a late scratch from the lineup with a sore right pinky. ... Ramirez (back) hopes to return on Friday after missing six games. He plans to take grounders and hit in the batting cage during the Brewers' day off on Thursday.
White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon (1-0) makes his second career start on Friday in Oakland. The organization's prized pitching prospect won his debut as a starter last week at Cincinnati.
Brewers: The team leaves on their day off Thursday for a 10-game, three-city trip that begins Friday against the Mets. Kyle Lohse (2-4) opens the series at Citi Field, where the right-hander is 0-2 with a 4.03 ERA in four career starts.