White Sox win 4-1, Twins fall to 0-7 in home opener
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Jose Quintana leads the major leagues with a whopping 53 no-decisions since his career began with the Chicago White Sox in 2012.
With an enhanced offense behind him, maybe the trend will end this season.
Austin Jackson hit a two-run, two-out single in the fourth inning after just missing a grand slam, lifting Quintana and the White Sox to a 4-1 victory Monday that spoiled Minnesota's home opener and stuck the winless Twins with their seventh straight loss.
Quintana (1-0) pitched six smooth innings with one run allowed for the White Sox, who have won five of their first seven games.
''I feel this is the year for no more no-decisions,'' said Quintana, whose start was pushed back one day by the rainout Sunday in Chicago. ''When you come into the ballpark every day, you come in excited for it because you have a new team, a real team, and we've got a chance.''
Todd Frazier, the most prominent of the offseason acquisitions, sparked a second-inning rally with a leadoff single and later added an RBI double. That proved to be plenty for Quintana, who has mastered the art of consistency even if his career record is a mere 34-34.
''He is just as solid as it gets,'' manager Robin Ventura said.
Twins starter Kyle Gibson (0-2) was charged with only one earned run over 5 2/3 innings, but he was in trouble often and threw a wild pitch that set up Frazier to score on a single by Brett Lawrie.
The Twins, off to the worst start for the franchise since the Washington Senators went 0-13 in 1904, were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position and are a majors-worst 5 for 55 in those situations this season.
''Guys are trying to do way too much,'' third baseman Trevor Plouffe said.
The wind gusted up to 35 mph on a 42-degree afternoon, but this was a chilly start for the Twins in more ways than one. When Kurt Suzuki's bunt attempt popped up and relief pitcher Matt Albers caught it for an easy double play in the seventh inning, boos bounced around the ballpark.
''Guys are struggling,'' manager Paul Molitor said, ''and I'm sure there's some pressing going on.''
The White Sox, after the spring training controversy involving departed veteran Adam LaRoche and the clubhouse presence of his teenage son, Drake, have been playing burden-free baseball so far.
Jackson has a hit or a run in every game. His drive down the left field line missed a grand slam by a few inches, squeezing between the limestone wall and the foul pole in the fourth. He put the White Sox up 3-0 with his smash up the middle on the next pitch.
''This is a great group of guys right here. Everybody's working toward a similar goal, and I was fortunate that I was able to come in and fit right in,'' Jackson said.
Albers has not allowed a run in 27 1/3 consecutive innings, the longest active streak in the majors.
Ventura said he's leaning toward keeping Chris Sale on schedule this weekend at Tampa Bay, meaning John Danks would pitch Saturday on six days of rest.
The Twins have played less than 5 percent of their schedule, but a turnaround could be tough. According to STATS research, no major league team has ever started 0-7 and qualified for the postseason. Three teams did so after dropping their first six games: Pittsburgh (1974), Cincinnati (1995) and Tampa Bay (2011).
White Sox: RF Adam Eaton was reinstated from the paternity list after missing one game while his wife, Katie, gave birth to their first child, a boy named Brayden. RHP Michael Ynoa was optioned to Double-A Birmingham to make room on the roster.
Twins: Position-player egos are hurting the most. The Twins have struck out 79 times, more than their hits (51) and walks (21) combined.
White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon (0-1, 2.57 ERA) will pitch Wednesday on six days of rest, after the series takes a break Tuesday. He struck out six in seven innings in at Oakland last week.
Twins: RHP Phil Hughes (0-1, 4.50 ERA) will take the mound Wednesday. He gave up one run over eight innings for the win June 24, 2015, the last time he faced the White Sox.