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Rookie lefty Jose Quintana showing White Sox he belongs

Rookie left-hander Jose Quintanpitched eight scoreless innings turning over 1-0 lead bullpen. | Dilip Vishwanat~Getty Images

Rookie left-hander Jose Quintana pitched eight scoreless innings, turning over a 1-0 lead to the bullpen. | Dilip Vishwanat~Getty Images

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Sox at Cardinals

The facts: 7:15, CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.

The pitchers: Jake Peavy
(6-1, 3.05 ERA) vs. Lance Lynn (9-2, 2.66).

Updated: July 14, 2012 6:46AM

ST. LOUIS — When Jose Quintana was called up to replace disabled John Danks 19 days ago, it was assumed he’d go back to Class AAA Charlotte when Danks came back from a sore shoulder.

But fifth starter Philip Humber’s slump has opened the door for the rookie left-hander, who is proving that he should stick around. In his fourth start Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals, Quintana lowered his ERA to 1.98 with a run allowed in 51/3 innings, despite giving up 10 hits.

At the very least, Quintana will get another start Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. There might be more.

“He’s proving he can pitch up here,’’ manager Robin Ventura said after Quintana earned his second victory. “Again, his maturity is one of those things that shows up first for us. He’s got great stuff, but when he does what he’s doing right now, he’s making a strong case for staying around.”

Ventura served notice Sunday that the struggling Humber might have to work things out in the bullpen. Humber is slated to start Saturday against the Dodgers.

While Humber and Gavin Floyd struggle, Quintana continues to impress.

“Yeah, he’s good,’’ Paul Konerko said. “As a hitter, just watching him pitch, he’s one of those left-handers that can really bury the ball in on righties. There’s not a ton of those guys out there.

“He just keeps coming right at you. He’s been a great surprise for us to come up and do what he has done. He has been lights-out.’’

Danks shakes off rust

Danks allowed three runs (one earned) and four hits in four innings in his rehab start Tuesday for Charlotte. He has been on the disabled list since May 20 after feeling discomfort in the back of his left shoulder.

“There was a little bit of rust, but I’ll get on the mound here and I’ll be fine,” Danks said after returning to St. Louis.

“The biggest thing is being healthy and feeling good, and I do.”

Danks threw 61 pitches against the Columbus Clippers in Columbus, Ohio. The Sox might give him one more rehab outing, but he said he doesn’t need it.

Draft picks signed

Twenty-four of the Sox’ first 41 picks in the draft, including first baseman Keon Barnum (48th overall), have agreed to contract terms.

Barnum and infielders Joey DeMichele and Nick Basto will report to advanced rookie ball in Bristol, Va. Pitchers Chris Beck and Brandon Brennan are headed to Great Falls, Mont., which is considered a notch above the advanced rookie level.

First-round pick Courtney Hawkins remains unsigned.

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