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Jose Quintana enjoying a productive second half for White Sox

Updated: September 23, 2013 2:37PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Left-hander Jose Quintana, who starts the series finale as the White Sox go for a sweep against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night, is showing few signs of weak ening in the second half.

Aside from allowing five runs two starts ago, Quintana hasn’t given up more than three in a start since late June. His 3.50 ERA in the second half is .21 points lower than the first half. As a rookie in 2012, Quintana’s second-half ERA was 5.01 after a 2.04 mark the first half.

“I feel good,’’ Quintana said. “I worked harder on fitness and conditioning over the offseason.’’

Manager Robin Ventura said he and pitching coach Don Cooper are keeping tabs on all the starters’ workloads and don’t have “a set ‘this is where they have to end up.’ It’s just being aware of how they look and how they feel. You don’t want to send them out there jeopardizing what they can do in the future.’’

Quintana (7-4, 3.66 ERA), who will make his 26th start, is at 150 innings. He made 22 starts and pitched 1361/3 innings last season.

Viciedo’s just grand

Dayan Viciedo’s grand slam against Jeremy Guthrie highlighted a five-run, five-hit fourth inning for the Sox. Viciedo had an eventful night, misplaying a fly ball on the warning track for a two-base error and adding two singles and opposite-field fly ball to the warning track to go with the slam, the second of his career.

The homer was the second in four games for Viciedo.

“Tank swung it great tonight,’’ Ventura said. “I don’t know if we’ve seen him swing it like this.’’

Ventura said Viciedo is at his best when “he stays in the middle of the field. “That’s as good as you can see him.’’

Rienzo gets first win

Andre Rienzo was in line for his first victory in his sixth start, leaving the game after six innings with a 5-2 lead. Rienzo gave up five his and three walks while striking out five.

“A good, gutsy win,’’ Ventura said. “Once he got that lead, he just kind of worked it.

Sox starters’ collective ERA is 2.36 over the last nine games and 3.12 over the last 26. Rienzo lowered his to 3.56.

Winning streak at season-high 5

The last-place Sox won their fifth game in a row, a season high, and 11th in the last 16. Ventura has seen better overall play “for the most part’’ but said it can be better.

“The other day you do win in Minnesota but you make three errors,’’ he said. “There’s still room for improvement but when you knock in some runs with two outs it becomes different.’’

The Sox made two more errors Wednesday.

This and that

Addison Reed became the only pitcher this season to record a save in five consecutive games. Reed is the first pitcher in franchise history to accomplish the feat.

◆ Outfielder Blake Tekotte, who hadn’t played in 10 days, was optioned to Class AAA Charlotte after the game. The Sox will make a corresponding move Thursday.

◆ Avisail Garcia extended his hitting streak to eight by legging out an infield single on a grounder to shortstop Alcides Escobar.

Conor Gillaspie matched his career high with three hits, all singles.

Alexei Ramirez hit his 33rd double, extending his career high.


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