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White Sox strike early to grab finale vs. Crew

MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana set a season high with 10 strikeouts over seven-plus innings, and Avisail Garcia and Adam LaRoche homered in a three-run first inning for a 4-2 win over the Brewers at Miller Park on Wednesday.

Quintana held the Brewers to one hit over the first six innings, and carried a shutout into the eighth. The White Sox had lost seven consecutive road games, including the series opener against the Brewers, but bounced back to take the final two games for their first road series win of the season.

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MILWAUKEE -- White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana set a season high with 10 strikeouts over seven-plus innings, and Avisail Garcia and Adam LaRoche homered in a three-run first inning for a 4-2 win over the Brewers at Miller Park on Wednesday.

Quintana held the Brewers to one hit over the first six innings, and carried a shutout into the eighth. The White Sox had lost seven consecutive road games, including the series opener against the Brewers, but bounced back to take the final two games for their first road series win of the season.

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It was clear early on that Quintana was nasty. Carlos Gomez, who complained that Quintana's pitches "disappeared" when they got to the plate, swung so hard at strike three in the second inning that his helmet flew off and he fell to the ground.

Video: CWS@MIL: Quintana strikes out 10 in seven innings

"I went on my scouting report with him -- in the past, he struck me out with a lot of fastballs inside. So I'm ready and concentrated to that side, and then he flipped that curve." Gomez said. "I feel like my bat was a plastic bat."

"He was fantastic. He was strong, even there at the end. He threw great," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Quintana. "He was throwing strikes, got ahead early. We got a nice lead for him there in the first. We had a rally early, that was nice to see. He did it on his own. That's more of the stuff you expect out of him. When he throws strikes like that and is that aggressive, he's been good."

Brewers shortstop Hector Gomez accounted for two of Milwaukee's' first four hits, including a triple leading off the eighth inning that ended Quintana's outing and set up a run. Carlos Gomez homered off Sox closer David Robertson in the ninth, but Milwaukee's' streak of three straight series wins or splits came to an end, and the team finished new manager Craig Counsell's first homestand 5-5.

Video: CWS@MIL: Gomez blasts a solo homer off Robertson

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
A rare good start: Entering Wednesday's series finale, no team in baseball had scored fewer first-inning runs than the White Sox (seven). They improved that total quickly against Jimmy Nelson with a 12-pitch Adam Eaton walk, Melky Cabrera's sacrifice fly and back-to-back homers from Garcia and LaRoche for a three-spot.

"I was just looking for something in the middle of the plate for the first pitch," Garcia said. "I hit it good, so that's what happened." More >

Boom, boom: Nelson did not surrender multiple home runs in any of his first 23 Major League appearances, including 18 starts. But he served up three homers against the Cubs over the weekend, then two more in the first inning on Wednesday against the White Sox. Nelson would come back with a 1-2-3 second inning, and went on to pitch 6 2/3 innings, but the damage was done.

"After that first, I just tried to eat up some innings to try to give us a chance to come back," Nelson said. "I wanted to throw up some zeros and give [our hitters] some time." More >

Video: CWS@MIL: Nelson gets Beckham to hit into double play

Q has the answer for trouble: Quintana's shutout effort received a bit of a challenge in the seventh when Khris Davis and Ryan Braun opened with singles. But second baseman Emilio Bonifacio took away a hit from Carlos Gomez by stabbing his grounder headed to right and throwing him out at first, and Quintana fanned Adam Lind and Martin Maldonado to escape the threat unscathed.

"Their second baseman made a play. To me, that's the difference in the game," Counsell said. "That stops an inning. We would have had bases loaded with nobody out at least. That was a big play."

Video: CWS@MIL: Bonifacio dives, throws out Gomez in the 7th

More missed opportunities: The Brewers had a rally brewing again in the eighth, when Hector Gomez tripled against Quintana and scored on Gerardo Parra's pinch-hit single against Jake Petricka. Elian Herrera's single brought Davis to the plate representing the tying run, but Davis bounced into an inning-ending double play. In the ninth, Carlos Gomez homered and the Brewers again brought the tying run to the plate, but Robertson retired Maldonado and Hector Gomez to end the game.

Video: CWS@MIL: Parra drives in the Brewers' first run

QUOTABLE
"The last two series have been really good for us. We've had a good atmosphere in the dugout, the guys have been playing really hard, the offense is coming through, the pitching is doing well. We're just playing a lot better brand of baseball now." --White Sox closer David Robertson, who picked up his seventh save

Video: CWS@MIL: Robertson strikes out Gomez to earn save

POSITION OR COINCIDENCE?
LaRoche has made six starts at first base this season, compared to 23 at designated hitter. Three of his four homers have come in those first-base starts.

POWER OUTAGE
The home runs by Garcia and LaRoche in the first inning marked the first time the White Sox went back-to-back all season. They have 22 homers as a team, but also 10 homers in their last eight games.

OUCH!
Hector Gomez paid a personal price on the way to scoring the Brewers' first run. His helmet flew off as he dove into third base, exposing the back of his head to Garcia's strong throw from right field. It hit Gomez flush, and Gomez briefly received attention from a member of the Brewers' medical staff before remaining in the game.

Video: CWS@MIL: Gomez triples, then ball hits his head

WHAT'S NEXT
White Sox: Top-ranked White Sox prospect Carlos Rodon's transition to the starting rotation unofficially began last Saturday in an eight-strikeout performance against the Reds. But general manager Rick Hahn officially announced the full-time move Tuesday, with Rodon's next start coming Friday night at 9:05 p.m. CT against the A's in the series opener in Oakland.

Brewers: Kyle Lohse is coming off two consecutive outings of five innings and 100-plus pitches. The right-hander will look to turn it around against the Mets on Friday in Counsell's first game on the road as Brewers manager. First pitch at Citi Field is at 6:10 p.m. CT.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.