With the lineup that featured a healthy smattering of still-raw prospects, Robin Ventura had to know there was a possibility he would receive very little offense against Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez.
He wound up getting none.
Striking out 10 over 7.1 innings, Sanchez obliterated a White Sox offense composed of has-beens and not-ready-yets en route to a 1-0 Tigers win. Three singles off Matt Lindstrom in the eighth, capped by a two-out bleeder by Omar Infante that dribbled just past Alexei Ramirez‘s diving grasp gave Detroit their margin of victory after Jose Quintana held them down through seven innings.
One year and one day prior, Quintana made a similarly inspiring home start against the Detroit Tigers. He lasted longer than seven innings and the game had more meaning, since it pushed the White Sox lead in the AL Central to three games, but a more mature and complete pitcher worked over the Tigers fearsome lineup Wednesday night. Finishing up his seventh and final shutout inning of a night dropped his ERA to 3.56 on a season spent in a tiny ballpark, Quintana defused a scoring threat by reaching back for a 92 mph high fastball to blow away Jose Iglesias, then after grazing Austin Jackson with one, worked over Torii Hunter with two biting sliders inside before getting him to chop a heater into the dirt to a sprinting Leury Garcia.
It was a beautiful effort from a pitcher who has become an increasingly reliable joy to watch. Equally reliable has become his tendency to toil in obscurity. His seven shutout innings were good enough for his league-leading 17th no-decision.
Josh Phegley achieved the herculean task of reaching third base in the fifth inning after getting thrown out there in the third, but those were the highest heights the White Sox could dream of. As much as Marcus Semien is adjusting to big league pitching (0-3, 2K), Dayan Viciedo is into his third year of trying to calm down (0-4) and Avisail Garcia is slumping (0-4), the mothballed core of Adam Dunn & Paul Konerko (0-8, 6 K) leaves the Sox with no place to turn to for reliable production.
Except for maybe Leury Garcia, who took the leadoff slot, slapped out three singles and made a couple of stalwart plays at second base. On an eighth inning Miguel Cabrera grounder up the middle, Garcia cut off Alexei Ramirez, ranged past the second base bag and flung in a bullet to first base.
Hopefully he didn’t break any rules.
Team Record: 58-87
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