Backed by defense, Quintana blanks Indians

Backed by defense, Quintana blanks Indians

CLEVELAND -- Jose Quintana followed a strong pitching performance by teammate Jeff Samardzija with one of his own, going the distance for his first shutout in a 6-0 White Sox victory at Progressive Field on Friday night.

His opposition, Corey Kluber, held the White Sox to two runs through seven innings before his final frame did him in. Kluber's final line read six earned runs on eight hits, two walks and a homer. He struck out seven in seven-plus innings.

"Yeah, that's a shame," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He goes into the eighth giving up two and gives up two more and we [go] get him. We're trying to hold it there, but it's a shame because he sure pitched a heck of a lot better than that."

Kluber strikes out seven

Quintana, backed by a strong defensive performance, struck out eight in his first career complete game, allowing just seven baserunners on six singles and a double. He owns a 14-start streak of pitching at least into the sixth inning.

With the victory, the White Sox have won consecutive games in Cleveland for the first time since 2012, and have outscored the Indians, 14-1, in the first two games of this four-game series.

"Once we were up, we tried to capitalize," said White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez, through catcher Geovany Soto. "It was a Cy Young pitcher out there, so we try to get the most runs, and we were really happy to bring those runs to Quintana."

Quintana's seven-hit shutout

Defensive runs saved: With runs coming at a premium Friday night, Ramirez gets credit for an unofficial save behind Quintana. After fielding Michael Brantley's grounder in the hole with two outs in the third, Ramirez threw behind Jason Kipnis at second instead of trying to force a play at first. Kipnis rounded second too far and was caught for the third out. In the fifth, Ramirez forced Giovanny Urshela at second when he knocked down Mike Aviles' line drive and flipped the ball between his legs with his glove to Carlos Sanchez.

"He was doing everything tonight," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Ramirez. "Defensively, I thought the big play was the one in the hole, that nice instinctive play. Sanchy was there, get a guy rounding second base. Some plays up the middle that he just showed some great ranged and played well." More >

Ramirez shines on defense

Abreu finds the power stroke: For the first time since July 3 against the Orioles, Jose Abreu went deep for the White Sox. It was just his second extra-base hit over the last 15 games but his third career homer in 28 at-bats against Kluber. Abreu has hit .357 in those meetings with the Tribe's Cy Young winner.

Abreu's solo homer

Little help: The absence of offense from Cleveland's lineup continued a season-long trend with Kluber on the mound. He entered the contest with the second-lowest average run support among American League starters (2.52), and Friday's showing marked the sixth start this season in which the Indians were unable to score a run while Kluber was in the game.

"Honestly, I don't even know what my statistics are," Kluber said. "I, honestly, just try to go from start to start, whether it's a good or bad result, I just try to move on to the next one. Obviously, this one wasn't good, so I'll just try to get ready for the next one." More >

"We got lucky with a couple of them. We had some big hits with some guys on base. Jose with the home run. Melky just stays inside the bag, and Alexei's hits the bag. We'll take it. We're not too proud to take those." --Ventura, on getting to Kluber

Ramirez's two-run double

The Indians used a replay challenge in the eighth inning to successfully overturn a close call at first base. First baseman Jesus Aguilar, playing in his first game of the season after being called up earlier in the day, fumbled a grounder hit by Adam LaRoche before flipping to pitcher Marc Rzepczynski, who was covering first base. LaRoche was initially ruled safe, but the call was overturned.

LaRoche out after challenge

White Sox: Chris Sale takes the mound Saturday night at 6:10 p.m. CT, as the White Sox go for their third straight win over the Indians. Sale is 6-4 with a 2.01 ERA over his last 13 starts, posting 137 strikeouts in 98 1/3 innings. He took the loss in his last start Sunday against the Royals.

Indians: Right-hander Carlos Carrasco (10-7, 3.94 ERA) will look to win his first game in his last three outings, facing the White Sox for the third time this season at 7:10 p.m. ET at Progressive Field. Carrasco has allowed just three earned runs in his last two starts, with a 13:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

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August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.