White Sox offense comes alive in eighth to beat Astros
Jor. Danks caps rally with two-run single; Quintana fans eight over 7 2/3
CHICAGO -- Jordan Danks is gaining confidence at the plate, and it's paying dividends in clutch situations for the White Sox.
Danks delivered a two-out, two-run single to give Chicago a lead in the eighth inning and Jose Quintana tossed 7 2/3 solid innings as the White Sox mounted a late comeback to beat the Astros, 4-3, at U.S. Cellular Field Tuesday night.
With the White Sox trailing, 3-1, in the eighth, pinch-hitter Jeff Keppinger drew a one-out walk against reliever Erik Bedard and moved to second on Alexei Ramirez's single. One out later, Paul Konerko singled in Keppinger. Avisail Garcia then reached on an infield single before Danks came through with his two-run single.
"I'm feeling good at the plate and I was really happy that [manager] Robin [Ventura] let me stay in there at the end," Danks said. "I know there was a lefty going and a lot of times I don't get to face guys like that, especially with guys in scoring position. But I always like to be that guy. Even if you don't come through, you always want to be in that situation."
It was Danks' career-high third hit of the game, and his second go-ahead hit in the club's last two victories. He hit a solo homer to put Chicago ahead, 3-2, in Sunday's win against the Rangers. He also has a nine-game hitting streak.
"He's been doing great," Ventura said. "Ever since he came back he's been swinging it good, playing good defense. He seems to be in the middle of everything. Even in Kansas City, he got some big hits there, and tonight was the same way. It's nice to see."
Astros manager Bo Porter said that he went with Bedard -- who was moved out of the rotation and into the bullpen this week -- because he felt he could take advantage of the left-handed White Sox lineup.
"I was trying to get [Bedard] to go ahead and finish it," Porter said. "He's obviously built up because he had been starting all year, and you look at where we're at with their lineup and the number of lefties in it. He's able to get lefties and righties out, and you feel pretty good that Erik Bedard had the ball in that situation."
Quintana gave up three runs on eight hits, walking three and striking out eight, settling for his Major League-leading 16th no-decision.
The left-hander, who retired 10 of the first 12 batters he faced, said the key to his success was keeping the ball down and getting ahead in the count early.
"The key thing for me was just keeping the ball down. You keep the ball down and try to avoid big hits, big home runs," Quintana said through a translator. "The thing I focus on is attacking the hitters early. I'm just going after them early and not having those long counts. And I've benefited from that, so now I'm going a little longer [in games]."
Quintana added that he's not worried about the number of no-decisions.
"[No-decisions] aren't things you can control," he said. "You just give the team an opportunity to win, just keep fighting [and] get the team in a position to win games."
Quintana did that Tuesday night and it paid off late for the White Sox, though early in the game they couldn't solve Astros starter Paul Clemens.
Chicago scored its first run in the fourth on an RBI single by Garcia to tie the game at 1. But that was all the White Sox could muster against Clemens, who limited them to four hits over six innings.
The Astros got on the board first on Matt Dominguez's fourth-inning bloop double to shallow right that scored Jason Castro from first, as Castro had been running on the play and took White Sox second baseman Leury Garcia out of position.
Dominguez delivered another RBI hit in the sixth with a single to left field to bring in Robbie Grossman for a 2-1 lead.
In the eighth, Castro and Dominguez hit back-to-back two-out singles to chase Quintana from the game after the left-hander had struck out the first two batters in the inning. Jake Petricka came on in relief and gave up an RBI single to Chris Carter that made it 3-1.
Addison Reed came on in the ninth and notched his 36th save after taking the loss in Monday night's 10-8 decision, during which he gave up back-to-back ninth-inning homers.
Reed said he couldn't wait to get back onto the mound following his rough outing Monday.
"I wanted to go out there right after the game was over last night," Reed said. "I was hoping I would get in today and things worked out. We got out of here with a win."
With that win the White Sox are a Major League-best 9-2 since Aug. 16, and have won 15 of their last 22 contests.