Consistent lefty Jose Quintana does his part to help Sox snap losing streak
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com April 24, 2013 10:53PM
Chicago White Sox pitcher Addison Reed pitches during the ninth inning at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Ill., on Wednesday, April 24, 2013. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 24, 2013 11:42PM
Four starts into his second season in the majors, and Jose Quintana has had one bad inning. This is the level of consistency the left-hander is striving for as a back-of-the-rotation starter.
That he did his share to halt a four-game losing streak by the White Sox on Wednesday wasn’t lost on him, either.
“We needed to get that win,’’ said Quintana, who didn’t get through six innings but improved to 2-0 with two runs allowed over five-plus frames.
“I feel a lot of responsibility to win every time I go out there, but today was especially nice because of the four games before this.’’
Quintana extended his scoreless innings streak to 182/3 while lowering his ERA to 2.78. He retired the first nine Indians, running his streak against Cleveland hitters to 19 in a row before Michael Brantley’s single in the fourth.
“Maturity-wise, he’s getting stronger as far as his makeup and his belief that he’s a big leaguer,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “Last year it was just ‘try to stay here and survive.’ It kind of felt game-to-game there for a little while. He’s part of the rotation, he’s part of the future, and he senses that and he has that maturity and confidence that he belongs here.’’
Tekotte gets a shot
Ventura gave Blake Tekotte a start in center field, allowing him a chance to show what he can do and put being picked off in his first appearance Monday behind him. He walked and struck out twice.
“I don’t like guys coming up just sitting here without getting their feet wet,’’ Ventura said. “Once you get him out there you kind of ease his feelings and nerves and whatever it is on the field. Just get him out there and see what he can do.’’
Tekotte, Jordan Danks, Alejandro De Aza and Dewayne Wise have all played center field. Playing time is there for the taking with Dayan Viciedo (left oblique strain) on the disabled list.
“You just mix and match and if one of them gets hot you probably run with it,’’ Ventura said.
Making most of it
Conor Gillaspie took advantage of Gordon Beckham’s injury to get more playing time in the infield and has responded by batting .304. When Beckham comes back, the left-handed hitting Gillaspie will stay in the lineup if he stays on course.
“Absolutely,’’ Ventura said. “From the outside, not having a left-handed hitter somewhere in the middle breaking up the lineup looked like a weakness. He’s shown he has the ability to do that. He definitely has earned more time somewhere whether it’s third base or first.’’
Paul Konerko was back at designated hitter, Ventura said, because he prefers not playing the 37-year-old in cold weather.
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