In Jose Quintana‘s last outing, he only allowed 1 baserunner in 7 shutout innings paired with 7 strikeouts only be to be let down by the offense and the bullpen to take the no decision. Tonight, he would once again impress, only this time he had more than enough runs behind him to get his first win of the season. The White Sox offense had their home runs tonight, with a solo shot from Rios, and another of the three-run variety, courtesy of Tyler Flowers. Further, the White Sox also sprinkled in some doubles and even walks for good measure! The result is back-to-back victories in Toronto and a record improved to 7-8.
The first inning appeared to be leading down the expected path: a 1-2-3 inning from the Sox, matched by Quintana keeping Toronto from hitting the ball out of the infield. The second inning was even more deceptive, as the first two White Sox hitters made outs, but then the bats sprang to life. Dayan Viciedo hit a double to opposite field, followed by an Alexei Ramirez walk. Up came the struggling Tyler Flowers, who would take a 2-1 fastball low and away from J.A. Happ and blast it to right center field for a 3-run dinger. This would be more than Quintana would need.
Quintana would need 104 pitches to get through 6.2IP, allowing only 5 hits and 2BBs to go with his 7Ks. If Toronto’s gun is to be relied upon – and from what I have learned, only Kansas City’s gun is off to any meaningful degree, adding several miles per hour onto reality – Quintana was sitting 91-92 and reaching back for 93-94mph fastballs to get strikeouts up in the zone. Quintana also mixed in an effective change and slider to keep Toronto’s hitters off-balance.
Viciedo, Alexei, and Flowers would be the core of the attack today, combining to go 6/11 with two doubles and the big 3-run blast. Alex Rios would tack on a solo shot in the 6th, crushing a flat breaking ball to essentially straight center field. The White Sox even added some clusters-of-hits runs in the 7th, as three straight singles lead off the inning, and sac flies from Keppinger and Konerko would push the score to 7-0.
Jesse Crain and Donald Veal would wrap the game up without difficulty.
The White Sox bullpen came into today with an ERA of 1.87, and added 2.1IP of scoreless ball to that tally tonight.
Jordan Danks hit a pinch hit single in his only at bat of the evening. Wise would also pinch hit, and Jordan Danks would remain in center field, perhaps a sign that the White Sox consider Danks the superior defender.
Adam Dunn continues to struggle, going 0/4 with 2 more strikeouts and no walks.
Colby Rasmus made some nice plays in center tonight for the Blue Jays, taking away a couple of hits – a reminder that the White Sox were lucky to have Bonifacio manning center last night for Viciedo’s double in their 4-3 victory.
Jose Quintana now has 17 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 17.2IP this year with an ERA of 2.55. So far this year his average fastball velocity is up from 90.4 to 91.2, and that was before tonight’s game where it looked like he had a bit more heat than that.