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Brooms broken, but Sox cleaning up at home

8-4 home mark gives club positive feeling
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- Picking up a home series victory over the Tigers marked an important step in the right direction for a White Sox team that returned to U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday with a five-game road losing streak in tow.

But the next thought for the White Sox coming from their 4-1 loss to the Tigers on Thursday afternoon had to be that a solid opportunity to sweep one of the top two squads in the American League Central was missed. Even with precious few chances to score against Detroit starter Kyle Lobstein, Robin Ventura's crew was left with a number of what-ifs on this 83-degree afternoon.

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Video: DET@CWS: Quintana fans eight over five strong inningsCHICAGO -- Picking up a home series victory over the Tigers marked an important step in the right direction for a White Sox team that returned to U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday with a five-game road losing streak in tow.

But the next thought for the White Sox coming from their 4-1 loss to the Tigers on Thursday afternoon had to be that a solid opportunity to sweep one of the top two squads in the American League Central was missed. Even with precious few chances to score against Detroit starter Kyle Lobstein, Robin Ventura's crew was left with a number of what-ifs on this 83-degree afternoon.

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After scoring one run in the fourth to tie the game, the White Sox had the bases loaded with nobody out and Alexei Ramirez at the plate. Adam LaRoche had just worked Lobstein for a seven-pitch walk, but Ramirez hacked at the next pitch and hit into the rare third base-to-catcher double play.

Video: DET@CWS: Castellanos starts run-saving double play

The White Sox would not score another run on the afternoon.

"Alexei hits it hard and it's just right at somebody. That's the way the game goes sometimes," Ventura said. "You'd like it a little more up the middle and get something more out of that, but we had some opportunities off him in that inning."

"You jump on one early and we hit a number of them hard. We just didn't find a lot of holes with them, and timely hits didn't happen," White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers said. "That's kind of how it goes sometimes."

Better luck for Jose Quintana, who started and lost on Thursday, has been a White Sox what-if going on four years. Quintana has given up five earned runs in his last 19 innings, covering three starts, but he has an 0-2 record during that stretch.

Video: DET@CWS: Quintana fans eight over five strong innings 

"He's such a nice guy," Adam Eaton said of Quintana. "He works his absolute tail off and you want to go out there and work for him."

"Q battles through it and got some outs when he really needed to," Ventura said. "But it wasn't enough today."

With an 8-4 record and four series wins at home, the White Sox have shown flashes of the possible playoff contender people expected. Add in a dismal 2-11 road mark and it seems more like a .500 team in the making.

There wasn't a great deal of big-picture analysis coming from the White Sox clubhouse after they slipped to 1-4 against left-handed starters this season. The focus fell more upon the good they did this week.

"That's the first thing I said when I came in. Taking two of three from a good team like Detroit, especially with the week we had, we are happy with it," Eaton said. "You want to win every game, but taking two of three from a good team like them is a good step for us."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.

 

Chicago White Sox, Adam Eaton, Jose Quintana, Alexei Ramirez