CHICAGO -- Jose Quintana didn't allow his third home run of the 2016 season until his 13th start, on June 11 against the Royals.
It took the White Sox Opening Day starter 3 2/3 innings to yield that same total during a 6-3 loss to the Tigers on Tuesday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field in what was a makeup of Monday's weather-related postponement. Quintana was not quite as sharp as his usual All-Star self, but even the pitches hit out against him by JaCoby Jones and Nicholas Castellanos during a five-run second and Ian Kinsler in the fourth were not exactly poor.
According to Statcast™, Jones' first career home run, on a curveball down and in, had an exit velocity of 98 mph and a launch angle of 32 degrees. It had a hit probability of 39 percent, given that exit velocity and launch angle. Kinsler's connection on a 1-0 fastball had an exit velocity of 98.6 mph, a launch angle of 36 degrees and an even lower hit probability of 28 percent.
Only Castellanos' opposite-field drive was truly hammered, coming off a fastball that caught too much of the plate.
"Yeah, I missed the spot, especially the fastballs against Castellanos and Kinsler," Quintana said. "I tried to go away, and the ball cut a little bit. I was behind in the count, too. That happens when you are going that way."
"One was elevated, the other one to Jones was a breaking ball down and underneath," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He kind of stayed with it, kind of golfed it a little bit."
Renteria credited Quintana with giving the White Sox 5 1/3 innings despite seeing his pitch count approach 50 after two frames. Quintana walked three and struck out two before departing at 93 pitches.
"He did a nice job of recovering; he kept us in the ballgame, and that's his experience," Renteria said. "Even though he wasn't as sharp he still kept trying to attack the zone. His command wasn't as good as he wanted it to be today."
"It wasn't his best day today, but I think we make some mistakes, too," White Sox catcher Omar Narvaez said. "We'll get them next game. We have to give credit to them, too. They are pretty good hitters, pretty good offensive players. We didn't execute, but it's just what it is."
Quintana enjoyed the excitement of Opening Day, even though it was a day later than planned and in front of a smaller crowd than the group braving Monday's constant rain. It was one bad start, an outlier, according to everyone who knows Quintana -- a bad start involving a rare plethora of homers.
"We just need to put the ball in play," Kinsler said. "Any way that we can keep the line moving, get it back to the top, gives us the best opportunity to win. If we're putting the ball in play and they make one mistake, it can allow us to get back to the top of the order and allow [Miguel Cabrera] and Nick and [Victor Martinez] to get another at-bat."