Quintana, White Sox lose touch in rough fourth inning
Lefty gives up homer to Fielder, three runs with two outs
ARLINGTON -- Jose Quintana takes a look at one at-bat from the fourth inning of the White Sox 6-3 loss to the Rangers before 44,811 at Globe Life Park Saturday night and thinks out loud about what might have been.
The Rangers (11-7) had grabbed a 2-1 lead on Prince Fielder's second home run of the season and had runners at second and third, two outs and No. 9 hitter Josh Wilson at the plate. Quintana (1-1) jumped ahead at 1-2 in the count and tried to go with a fourth straight fastball inside.
Wilson was ready for this pitch. He lined a two-run single to left to spark a four-run inning that helped send the White Sox (8-10) to their fourth straight defeat. Quintana was backing up home plate on Jordan Danks' throw, and the usually upbeat, cool customer showed frustration by pounding his fist into his glove.
"That pitch is good but I think I threw a lot of pitches inside for him," Quintana said. "But I have confidence in this pitch. I think I don't have a mistake on this pitch but he can hit.
"I go inside for him; that's the plan. But he can hit in this moment."
This evening deep in the heart of Texas was not a good one for the White Sox on more than one front.
Alexei Ramirez's franchise-record hitting streak to start a season ended at 17 with an 0-for-4 showing. That hitless night included a double play with the bases loaded and nobody out in the second off of Texas starter Colby Lewis (1-1) and a double play in the eighth to end a two-run rally off of reliever Alexi Ogando.
There also was the loss of leadoff man and center fielder Adam Eaton after his at-bat in the top of the fifth inning. Eaton hit a grounder to second but could barely get out of the box. He moved slowly down the line and immediately exited the game after he was thrown out.
Eaton was diagnosed with a mild left hamstring strain and is day-to-day. Manager Robin Ventura said that day-to-day status probably will have Eaton missing the next three games, although Eaton would like to be back in the lineup after a one-day respite.
"He just couldn't get out of the box. When he's pushing to get out of the box is when he really feels it," said Ventura of Eaton. "He can run and probably run better than most. It's just safer not to run him out there and maybe do something worse."
A usually steady Quintana made his first start in four trips to the mound this season that wasn't of the quality variety. Over five innings and 98 pitches, Quintana allowed five runs on nine hits, struck out one and walked two.
His last outing against Cleveland on Sunday featured a career-high 121 pitches and Quintana coming back after a rain delay. But with an extra day of rest built in by Monday's off-day, Quintana said he felt fine.
"You start seeing some of the hits in this ballpark, stuff falls in and they're going to get hits because of the way the ballpark plays," said Ventura of Quintana's night. "But once the ones start falling in, those are the ones that hurt you. He was pretty good. It wasn't his best stuff."
Lewis and three relievers held the White Sox to one run on six hits through seven innings, with the right-hander striking out four and walking one during his 5 1/3 innings of work. Saturday's contest marked Lewis' first win since June 17, 2012 against Houston.
"Pretty sentimental," said Lewis of the win. "It's one of the victories that I'm just excited about. I was more myself tonight. Definitely excited to get that first victory out of the way and move on."
With runners on first and second and one out in the sixth, Lewis' night came to a quick end at 85 pitches with Adam Dunn coming to the plate. Left-handed throwing Aaron Poreda induced a fly out from Dunn, whose three hits raised his average to .304, and after a Poreda walk to Dayan Viciedo loaded the bases, Ramirez's ground out to third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff off Jason Frasor ended the inning.
"Right there, we had a lead in the game and Dunn coming up, a dangerous hitter," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "I just didn't want a mistake to happen right there. And if he catches a lefty, I'll live with that."
To add just a small dose of insult to injury, Poreda, Frasor and Neal Cotts all pitched scoreless baseball for the Rangers on Saturday. All three previously pitched for the White Sox.
Ogando yielded Viciedo's two-run single in the eighth when the White Sox loaded the bases yet again, but Joakim Soria (third save) closed out the victory. In these four straight losses, the White Sox have scored just eight runs.
"We had a couple innings there where we had a chance to put in a big inning, and it fizzled right there at the end," Ventura said. "You get a double-play ball, a guy makes a good pitch and we've got a hot hitter up there. It just didn't happen.
"Even later in the game, we hit some pretty good that didn't for this ballpark go anywhere. Normally, the way this place plays, we would have had a couple of homers there."