Quintana snaps losing skid as White Sox beat Astros 4-1
HOUSTON (AP) Jose Quintana been pitching well over his last nine starts but had gone 0-7 in large part because the White Sox had managed just nine total runs in that span.
So when his team tacked on a pair of runs in the eighth inning to pad a 1-run lead Quintana was more than a little excited.
''(It was a) good reaction because ... sometimes I wait for runs,'' Quintana said. ''I (do) my job and I wait for support and today the lineup made a good effort.''
Quintana pitched seven solid innings to get his first win in almost two months, and Jose Abreu had two hits and an RBI to lead the White Sox over the Houston Astros 4-1 on Sunday.
Quintana (6-8) allowed a season-low two hits and one run while fanning four for his first win since May 8. His losing streak was the longest in the majors.
''Even as difficult as it can be for him to get run support he never wavers as far as his own confidence in what he can do,'' manager Robin Ventura said. ''He's one of the better pitchers in the league. If he can get some run support his record obviously is a lot different. Just mentally he's as tough as anybody we've got.''
George Springer hit a leadoff homer and drew a walk with no outs in the third. Quintana sailed through the rest of his day, retiring his last 15 batters before he was replaced by Nate Jones to start the eighth inning. Jones pitched a perfect eighth to make it 18 in a row before David Robertson allowed a single and walk before striking out rookie A.J. Reed for his 23rd save.
The White Sox trailed by 1 when Tim Anderson doubled with one out in the third inning and scored on a groundout by Adam Eaton to tie it up. Abreu followed with his single that put the White Sox on top 2-1.
Brett Lawrie and Dioner Navarro added RBI singles in the eighth inning to push the lead to 4-1.
Houston starter Collin McHugh (5-6) allowed five hits and two runs while walking four with nine strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings to remain winless since May 30.
Things got testy late in this one after Chris Devenski plunked Abreu in the left shoulder with two outs in the seventh inning. Abreu remained at the plate and stared at Devenski until an umpire escorted him to first base.
With two outs in the bottom of the inning Quintana threw behind Evan Gattis twice to earn a warning from home plate umpire Ryan Blakney. Houston manager A.J. Hinch immediately dashed out of the dugout after the second one and got in Blakney's face repeatedly yelling: ''he threw behind him,'' and pointing behind Gattis. He was soon ejected and things settled down after that.
Quintana insisted that he didn't purposely throw behind Gattis.
''I tried to go inside and I missed the spot,'' he said. ''A couple of time today I missed in too much. That's all.''
The Astros disagreed.
''To not eject him is a choice they made that I didn't appreciate,'' Hinch said of Quintana. ''You're not going to take two shots at our guys and have it not be a spectacle for the entire industry to see. I respect the fact that they want to protect their players you can't do it twice.''
Springer gave Houston a 1-0 lead when he sent Quintana's second pitch into the bullpen in right-center field for his third career leadoff home run.
The victory gave Chicago a 2-1 series win, snapping a streak of five straight series wins by the Astros.
White Sox: 1B Justin Morneau, who has been out all season after elbow surgery in December, is scheduled to begin a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Charlotte on Monday. Manager Robin Ventura doesn't yet have a timetable on how long he'll be there.
White Sox: James Shields (3-9, 5.85) is scheduled to start when Chicago opens a series against the Yankees on Monday. Shields looks to get back on track after going 1-2 with an 11.07 ERA in his last five starts.
Astros: Lance McCullers (3-2, 3.91) will start on Monday in the opener against Seattle after missing his last start with a blister on his right index finger. McCullers has been great in his short career, going 6-2 with a 2.03 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 15 starts.