No support: Quintana, White Sox fall to Royals 4-1
CHICAGO (AP) After White Sox manager Robin Ventura called the lack of run support for Jose Quintana ''mind boggling,'' the left-hander acknowledged the stretch of bad luck has him frustrated.
''He should be,'' teammate Todd Frazier said.
Quintana struck out 10 over eight innings, but Cheslor Cuthbert hit a pair of solo home runs and Kendrys Morales added a solo shot in Saturday's 4-1 loss to Kansas City.
The White Sox struck out 13 times against Danny Duffy and three relievers as Quintana lost his six straight starts. The White Sox run totals are 1, 2, 0, 3, 1 and 1 in that stretch as he dropped to 5-7 despite a 2.66 ERA.
''I don't get it,'' Frazier said. ''I don't understand when we get opportunities we squander them.''
Duffy (2-1) fanned a career-best 10 and allowed three hits over six innings as the Royals (31-30) snapped an eight-game losing streak and moved ahead of the White Sox (31-31) in the tight AL Central.
Quintana made three key mistakes while allowing six hits and no walks.
Cuthbert's opposite-field shot in the second traveled an estimated 343 feet, but was just out of the reach of leaping right fielder Avisail Garcia in the third inning.
Then Morales pulled a fastball to nearly the same spot in the fifth. And Cuthbert secured his first two-homer game of his career when he sent the first pitch into the left-center seats in the eighth on a 91-degree day with the wind blowing out.
''Those guys have power and I made a couple of mistakes running to the middle a couple times,'' Quintana said. ''And the weather helped a little bit, too.''
Quintana was 5-1 with a 1.38 ERA after seven starts, and while he hasn't been that dominant since, he's gotten little help.
The latest power outage snapped a two-game winning streak and gave Chicago 21 losses in its last 29 games.
''I feel frustrated,'' Quintana said. ''But I don't have control of that.''
The White Sox had two baserunners in each of the first three innings, but Brett Lawrie twice failed to drive in runners in scoring position and Garcia was picked off first base in the second.
Frazier struck out with runners at second and third with one out in the first.
''I've got to put the ball in play, bottom line,'' Frazier said. ''Four-hole hitter, I've got to do my job. I couldn't do my job on three pitches. Pretty embarrassing, to be honest with you.''
Garcia's two-out single off Wade Davis scored Fraizer in the ninth and avoided the shutout, but it was too late to help Quintana.
''We just find ways to win against and I don't know how we do it,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''He's one of the better pitchers we face all year long.''
Royals: OF Brett Eibner (ankle) went 0 for 3 on Friday at Triple-A Omaha in a rehab stint.
White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon played catch before the game and was cleared to start Sunday's series finale. Rodon was scratched from Thursday's start with neck pain.
After Adam Eaton and Jose Abreu reached to begin the first inning, No. 3 hitter Melky Cabrera bunted down the first-base line. Duffy sprinted off the mound, fielded the ball and flipped to first as he was falling down for the out. The runners moved up, but the White Sox failed to score.
''He decided to do that on his own,'' manager Robin Ventura said. ''He's up there sensing the situation and I think he thought we could get on the board early by getting them over.''
White Sox RHP Tyler Danish, called up from Double-A Birmingham when right-hander Mat Latos was designated for assignment, struggled in his major league debut. He gave up a walk and three hits in the ninth, including Paulo Orlando's RBI single, while getting two outs.
Royals RHP Yordano Ventura (4-4, 5.32 ERA) will make his first start Sunday since he sparked a brawl in Baltimore by hitting Manny Machado. Ventura is eligible while he appeals his nine-game suspension. Rodon (2-5, 4.41 ERA) will be the third consecutive lefty to start for the White Sox.