Here are four interesting items from around the big leagues on Wednesday …• Left-hander Jose Quintana (six innings, four hits) and three White Sox relievers combined on a four-hitter, as Chicago blanked Toronto, 4-0. Quintana's effort followed Chris Sale's on Tuesday, when Sale surrendered four hits and a run to
Here are four interesting items from around the big leagues on Wednesday …
• Left-hander Jose Quintana (six innings, four hits) and three White Sox relievers combined on a four-hitter, as Chicago blanked Toronto, 4-0. Quintana's effort followed Chris Sale's on Tuesday, when Sale surrendered four hits and a run to the Blue Jays in eight innings. While Sale owns a 1.66 ERA in five starts, Quintana sits at 1.47 in his five. The most recent season in which a team had two left-handers with at least five starts each and an ERA below 2.00 in any March/April was 1966, when the Dodgers' Sandy Koufax (1.75) and Claude Osteen (1.64) accomplished the feat. Wednesday's performance lowered the team ERA to 2.24. The most recent season in which the White Sox finished March/April with an ERA lower than 2.50 was '66, when they entered May with a 2.01 mark. No American League team has gone into May with an ERA of below 2.30 since the Angels posted a 2.21 staff tally in '82.
• David Ortiz doubled three times at Fenway Park to help the Red Sox to a 9-4 win over the Braves. It left Ortiz with 595 career two-base hits -- just five away from joining Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds as the only players in history to collect 500 home runs and 600 doubles. Ortiz is one of 14 players since 1913 to have at least 300 doubles at home.
• In Atlanta's loss to Boston, Braves backstop A.J. Pierzynski collected a single for his 2,000th career knock. Pierzynski is the eighth player in MLB history to to reach 2,000 hits and have at least 75 percent of his career games behind the plate, joining Ivan Rodriguez (2,844 hits), Carlton Fisk (2,356), Jason Kendall (2,195), Yogi Berra (2,150), Mike Piazza (2,127), Gary Carter (2,092) and Johnny Bench (2,048).
• Making his 2016 debut, Miami left-hander Justin Nicolino allowed two hits in 7 1/3 scoreless innings and picked up the victory in a 2-0 Marlins win over the Dodgers. It marked the second time in as many years that Nicolino's first appearance of the season was superb. Last year, when he made his Major League debut, Nicolino allowed four hits in seven shutout innings. In 13 career outings, he has tossed at least seven shutout innings three times, which are the ninth most for any pitcher since 1913. Dontrelle Willis is the only other Marlins pitcher to have accomplished the feat.
Roger Schlueter is a statistical researcher and writes for MLB.com.