CHICAGO -- The White Sox scored seven runs in the fourth inning en route to an 8-2 win over the Twins on Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Field. The Twins remained one game behind the Rangers for the American League's second Wild Card following Texas' loss to Oakland.
White Sox starter Jose Quintana allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out five over six innings to pick up his ninth win. The left-hander surrendered both runs in the first inning, allowing just four baserunners over his next five innings. The three-year veteran has received 6.4 runs of support across his last five outings after he owned the lowest run-support average two months into the season.
"I had a hard first inning, too many pitches," Quintana said. "I tried to come back and get the first pitch on the hitters. I tried to make an adjustment."
Carlos Sanchez drove in two runs and Adam Eaton finished 3-for-5, as Chicago finally broke through against Twins starter Tommy Milone, who entered the game 3-0 with a 0.87 ERA in three starts -- all victories -- over the White Sox this season. The Twins' left-hander gave up four earned runs in the fourth inning while the rest resulted from two errors. It was Milone's first career loss to the White Sox in eight career starts (4-1).
"We got outplayed," said Twins manager Paul Molitor. "We didn't do a lot of things very well. We didn't run the bases very well, we didn't defend very well, we didn't pitch very well. You just kind of have to accept that."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Breakout inning: The White Sox trailed, 2-0, after three innings, but the offense broke through for a seven-run fourth inning, sending 11 batters to the plate. Trayce Thompson started things with a leadoff double and then drove in the seventh run with a single. The seven-run inning ties a season high, which was also accomplished April 18 at Detroit in the fourth inning.
"I felt more confidence, and then after that, I tried to come back and tried to get quick innings and get the win," Quintana said. More >
Start 'em up: The Twins wasted little time jumping on the board, needing only one hit to score two runs in the first inning. Aaron Hicks led off with a walk and stolen base. Joe Mauer reached on a throwing error two batters later, and Hicks scored on a passed ball. Mauer later scored on a single from Trevor Plouffe. Quintana has allowed 26 runs in the first inning this season -- the most in baseball.
Lucky charm: Quintana has 49 no-decisions since 2012 (most in the Majors over that span) and it appeared this might be another hard-luck effort after he allowed two runs (one earned) in the first inning. But that's all the lefty gave up over six innings, allowing him to benefit from the rare run support.
Mixed day on defense: The Twins had their share of highlight-worthy plays, but two errors in the fourth inning ultimately cost them three runs. Plouffe's throwing error to first base on a Geovany Soto bunt loaded the bases before all three runs scored. Blaine Boyer was later charged with an error on a pickoff throw to third base, which allowed runner J.B. Shuck to score. Those errors overshadowed Brian Dozier's diving stop on Avisail Garcia's lineout in the first inning and Byron Buxton's diving catch on Soto's liner in the fifth inning.
"You don't try to plan on diving and it just happened to work out my way," Buxton said. "I wanted to get out there and make that catch for my teammates. It didn't seem like that far. The ball just hit a wall and started dropping down." More >
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Joe Mauer's single in the fifth inning extended his on-base streak to 32 games. It is the second-longest current streak in the Majors, trailing Edwin Encarnacion (43).
"Early on in the game I didn't feel quite right. I was kind of struggling to find that consistent release point with all my pitches. I was able to get out of those first three innings, but it was a constant battle it felt like. That fourth inning just kind of got away from me. -- Milone, after tying sason-high seven runs allowed
"I think deep down inside he's probably ecstatic. He doesn't like to show it, but when you've gone through what he's gone through of not getting runs, he will sleep well tonight." -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura, on Quintana
WHAT'S NEXT Twins:Kyle Gibson takes the mound as the Twins conclude their three-game series against the White Sox on Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field. Gibson (9-10, 3.87 ERA) tossed a complete game his last time out, but he has thrown just two quality starts since the All-Star break. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. CT.
White Sox:Chris Sale (12-8, 3.31 ERA) is looking to bounce back after getting the loss in his last start. The left-hander enters just 12 strikeouts from tying Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers for the MLB lead. Sale is also 22 shy of tying the White Sox franchise record of 269, a record that's stood since 1908.