CHICAGO -- Jose Quintana continued his outstanding season with 7 2/3 strong innings on Saturday, and this time he got some help from his friends as the White Sox rolled to a 9-3 victory over the Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field.
The 27-year-old southpaw allowed just five hits and two runs (one earned) as he improved to 11-9 with a 2.77 ERA. Quintana had the second-lowest run support of any American League starter coming into the game, but the White Sox clubbed four home runs in a 15-hit night.
"He's pretty consistent. I think that's the biggest thing for him," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Quintana. "Mentality-wise and just focus, just his attitude and everything that goes with him is pretty consistent. You're never going to really tell what's going on with him in the game. He's had so many games that were close or tied or even behind that he never changes. I think that's what endears him to a lot of guys. He's consistent."
The White Sox jumped on Mariners reliever Vidal Nuno for four runs on five straight hits in the fifth to break the game open, with Avisail Garcia and Alex Avila delivering back-to-back home runs to take a 7-1 lead. Nuno wound up allowing 10 hits -- including three of the homers -- and six runs in three frames.
Mariners lefty Ariel Miranda lasted just four innings as he gave up five hits and three runs and departed with a 3-1 deficit. The 27-year-old Cuban walked three and needed 90 pitches in his abbreviated outing and is now 0-1 with a 4.79 ERA in four starts since being acquired from the Orioles for Wade Miley.
"Not our night," said Mariners manager Scott Servais. "Obviously we struggled on the mound a little tonight and couldn't get anything going. Miranda's fastball command and lacking a real swing-and-miss secondary pitch to keep them off balance made it a real struggle for him. We were hoping Nuno could kind of bridge the gap there, give us a couple innings. He got two quick outs and then ran into a buzzsaw and before you know it we were kind of out of the game."
The White Sox have won five of their last seven in raising their record to 62-66. The Mariners, fighting to stay in playoff contention, have dropped five of seven and remain two games back of an American League Wild Card spot at 68-61.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Mercy! They hurt it: The White Sox entered Saturday's contest with 126 homers, ranking them 13th in the American League. That total increased in a big way as Jose Abreu, Garcia, Tyler Saladino and Avila all went deep. Avila was playing in his first game after an almost two-month stint on the disabled list. Abreu's first-inning blast had an exit velocity of 107 mph, while Garcia's drive in the fifth had an exit velocity of 110 mph, both according to Statcast™. More >
"Just trying to see good pitches. Not do too much," said Garcia, who had three hits and eight total bases. "Every at-bat is important. Every game is important. You never know what's going to happen. You have to keep fighting and looking for the win."
Early, but not often: The Mariners nicked Quintana for an unearned run in the first when leadoff hitter Leonys Martin doubled, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on Robinson Cano's sacrifice fly. But Seattle couldn't mount much more offense as Quintana retired the next 11 batters in a row after Martin's double and had a 7-1 lead until Guillermo Heredia's RBI single in the sixth.
"Quintana has been very good," Servais said. "Obviously he pitched in the All-Star Game and knows what he's doing. He doesn't miss. He's on the edges and with our lineup and left-handed hitters, he kept us off balance."
Don't run on Melky: The game was pretty much out of reach in the sixth inning when Cano singled to left and tried to stretch the grounder down the line into a one-out double to put runners on second and third. But Melky Cabrera, who missed the last two games with the flu, got to the ball quickly and easily threw out Cano at second. Cabrera has 11 outfield assists this season and the White Sox have 38 as an outfield, ranking them second to Houston in that category.
Welcome to the bigs:Dan Altavilla made his Major League debut out of the bullpen for the Mariners in the eighth and looked impressive with a 1-2-3 inning in which he featured a 97-100 mph fastball. Promoted straight from Double-A Jackson, the stocky right-hander got easy groundouts from Cabrera and Abreu and then struck out Todd Frazier on a nasty slider. More >
"You never want to smile when a team loses like that, but a debut like that, it was tough to hold back with my family in the stands just going crazy," Altavilla said. " It was tough to hold back my emotions there."
"I was trying to get ahead in the count and I couldn't do it. I fell behind and had to throw the ball down in the middle and he made me pay for it. I have faced him back in Cuba. I did fairly well. It was only four or five at-bats. He couldn't do what he did today, but today was a different story." -- Miranda, through translator Manny Acta, on giving up a first-inning homer to his countrymate Abreu
"It felt good, it felt good. The fans here are so amazing. I'm so happy to be here and part of this team. I felt really good after watching." -- Quintana on getting a standing ovation when he departed in the eighth
WHAT'S NEXT Mariners:Taijuan Walker (4-8, 4.14 ERA) makes his second start since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma in Sunday's 11:10 a.m. PT series finale at U.S. Cellular Field. The 24-year-old right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA in three career starts vs. the White Sox, including 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a 2-1 victory in his last meeting on Aug. 28, 2015 in Chicago.
White Sox:Carlos Rodon (4-8, 4.02 ERA) makes his 22nd start at 1:10 p.m. CT on Sunday, leaving him one short of his rookie total of 23 starts in '15. Rodon is 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA, .211 opponents average and 1.01 WHIP over his last four starts (four quality starts) and has lowered his season ERA from 4.67 to 4.02 during that span