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White Sox trending upward because of arms

Starting rotation key to recent positive stretch
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- Fans should take a big-picture view of the White Sox following a 3-1 loss to the Indians on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field, instead of gnashing teeth over a season-high six-game winning streak coming to an end.

For starters, this setback was more about Trevor Bauer and what he did on the mound as opposed to what the White Sox hitters didn't do at the plate. Bauer improved to 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA over 21 innings against the South Siders this season by striking out seven and allowing just one run in 7 1/3 innings.

Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- Fans should take a big-picture view of the White Sox following a 3-1 loss to the Indians on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field, instead of gnashing teeth over a season-high six-game winning streak coming to an end.

For starters, this setback was more about Trevor Bauer and what he did on the mound as opposed to what the White Sox hitters didn't do at the plate. Bauer improved to 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA over 21 innings against the South Siders this season by striking out seven and allowing just one run in 7 1/3 innings.

Full Game Coverage

"He was absolutely in control or command of his pitches. His cutter was nasty today. He had a very good night," said White Sox left fielder Melky Cabrera, through interpreter and White Sox Spanish language broadcaster Billy Russo. "Tonight, he was mixing the pitches, inside, outside. Good fastball, good cutter, the curveball was good also."

Jose Quintana experienced his first career loss against the Indians after three victories, despite allowing two runs on eight hits over seven innings. The southpaw has yielded eight earned runs over his last 33 innings amid five starts, but surprisingly has a 1-3 mark in that stretch.

Video: CLE@CWS: Bauer allows only one, strikes out seven

Actually, it's not much of a surprise considering the track record of a hurler who has a Major League-high 41 no-decisions since 2012. But the story on Tuesday wasn't so much about another strong Quintana start going to waste as much as it was Jeff Samardzija, Chris Sale and Quintana putting back-to-back-to-back quality starts together for the first time this season.

This trio of frontline rotation members stands as the ultimate driving force for White Sox success.

"I think the last time Q was out there he had a good start, so this is just gaining momentum for him, that they're building on it," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "But he's tough. I'm looking forward to them continuing doing what they're doing."

"That's the best for me. I try to follow," said Quintana, who matched a season high with 112 pitches. "We have a pretty good rotation, and I tried to keep us winning. I think tomorrow we'll start again, try to get wins."

Video: CLE@CWS: Allen strikes out Garcia to escape jam

With the White Sox having exhibited a great rally capacity during their 10-3 run over the previous 13 games, Tuesday actually was shaping up as another stellar late comeback. Cleveland had at least one runner on base in every inning but the ninth and still only scored three times. Even with Bauer's excellence, an Adam Eaton leadoff single in the eighth gave the White Sox big bats a chance to tie the game.

Cabrera connected on a long blast to right on what would be Bauer's last hitter, a drive that sounded good on contact. It ended up falling to Ryan Raburn at the warning track in right-center. Strikeouts of Adam LaRoche and Avisail Garcia with two on ended the eighth and ended this White Sox stretch of victories.

"We have to keep working and to keep doing the things that we are doing right now," Cabrera said. "Today was just a loss. We have been playing good ball in these two weeks."

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

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chicago White Sox, Avisail Garcia, Adam LaRoche, Jose Quintana, Chris Sale, Jeff Samardzija