Quintana excited to reach 10-win plateau

Left-handed All-Star had won nine games in each of last three seasons

Quintana excited to reach 10-win plateau

CHICAGO -- The only people with a greater postgame celebration than Jose Quintana following a 4-2 White Sox victory over Oakland Sunday probably would be White Sox fans and his teammates.

Quintana has worked four full seasons as a starter and a significant part of a fifth but had topped out at nine victories. Not reaching double-digit wins certainly isn't Quintana's fault, as his 58 no-decisions since 2012 and the White Sox 3.31 run-support average behind him this season would indicate.

But all the stars aligned for Quintana at U.S. Cellular Field, as he allowed two runs over seven-plus innings, had some great defensive plays behind him and received just enough run support. Nate Jones and David Robertson closed out the win, leading to Quintana's excited reaction.

"He was just yelling and screaming like a little kid. He deserves it," said White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier, who had three hits and two RBIs on Sunday. "Sometimes you gotta get like that in this game and bring it back to how you played when you were little."

"This was really special for me," Quintana said. "This year, when the year started, that was my first goal. If I can take more than 10 wins, I can help my team win."

Those who have devalued the win statistic need to look no further than Quintana. He should have been a 15-game winner in each of the last three seasons, let alone fighting for 10 for the first time.

"For as well as he's pitched over his years here, for him to get 10 is nice," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I know the guys are happy about it that they're able to get one for him, that something didn't happen.

"Everybody's happy for him. He deserves it, and we did enough offensively to do it for him."

This 2016 season has been a special one for the 27-year-old. Quintana earned his first career All-Star nod and is well on his way to a fourth straight season with at least 30 starts and 200 innings pitched. He doesn't give up many home runs, having allowed 16 over 164 2/3 innings, including Khris Davis' two-run shot Sunday, and he doesn't walk many, with just 38 free passes issued.

Now he can add double-digit victories in a season to his resume, with getting to 20 wins his next target.

"Yes sir. I want to go there," a smiling Quintana said. "I have more experience now. It's special, making the All-Star team and getting 10 wins and trying to get more. That's really important for me and the best point here is to help my team."

"I'm just happy for him. He works his butt off," Frazier said. "He comes in here every day and doesn't say boo about anything and just plays hard."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.