Quintana settles in, gets just enough support

Quintana settles in, gets just enough support

Quintana settles in, gets just enough support
TORONTO -- Close games are nothing new for the White Sox.

But as long as their starters continue to work deep into games and their bullpen takes care of the rest, there won't be many complaints.

A trio of White Sox relievers, some small ball and solid defense ensured starter Jose Quintana walked away victorious Tuesday night as Chicago dropped the Blue Jays, 3-2, at Rogers Centre.

"I was just happy to piece it together without hitting a home run," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said about his club, which he feels relies on the long ball too much. "A good all-around game -- good defense, everything else. It was good for us, a big win."

The 23-year-old Quintana, who worked into the seventh inning for his fifth straight start, allowed eight hits and two walks over his 6 2/3 innings of work, while striking out four.

After an up and down July, following an impressive run to begin his Major League career, Quintana has turned in two consecutive quality starts in August. He improved to 5-2 and lowered his ERA a tick to 2.77.

"I have made a couple corrections in some of my pitches and all in all, I think that adjustment has been helping me out," said Quintana, who added the adjustment was more to do with execution and pitch location as opposed to something mechanical.

Quintana, who is nearing his career high for innings since beginning his professional career, has no concerns with the workload.

"I feel good, I've definitely never pitched this many innings but it's one of those things -- my arm feels good and I'm putting in the work and I feel that I can definitely go the distance," Quintana said.

Quintana worked his way out of a few jams, getting some help along the way from his defense.

The biggest threat came in the fifth inning after the White Sox had given him a 3-2 lead.

Toronto loaded the bases for slugger Edwin Encarnacion, but Quintana was bailed out by Kevin Youkilis, who caught a screamer by Encarnacion and threw to second to double up Rajai Davis to escape the inning unscathed.

"I have to give Youkilis a lot of credit for that. For him to come through is great," Quintana said.

The lefty found himself in another jam in the seventh after the Blue Jays put runners on first and second with one out but got Mike McCoy to pop up before turning the ball over to Brett Myers to face Encarnacion.

Myers did his job by getting Encarnacion to line out to Dewayne Wise in center to end the threat.

Left-hander Matt Thornton relieved Myers to start the eighth inning and recorded two outs before Ventura decided to turn to closer Addison Reed for a four-out save.

Ventura wanted Reed facing a predominantly right-handed-hitting Blue Jays lineup, although he was tasked with going against lefty Colby Rasmus, who entered as a pinch-hitter and hit an opposite-field single to left to put one on with one out.

But Reed clamped down and retired the next two batters to record his 21st save, tying him with Salome Barojas (1982) for the White Sox rookie record.

"I like it. I did it at the beginning of this year and the longer I'm out there, the more fun I have with it," said Reed, when asked if he likes entering the game in the eighth inning. "So any time I can go out there for four outs, I'm more than happy to do that.

"Our confidence is high right now, we are all throwing the ball well. With the addition of Myers, I think that did nothing but help us."

In 11 1/3 innings since joining the White Sox, Myers is sporting a sparkling 0.81 ERA. Chicago pitchers combined to throw six scoreless innings to end the game, while the offense was blanked for all but one inning.

The White Sox were stifled by Blue Jays starter Henderson Alvarez through four but strung together a two-out rally to get on the board in the fifth, while trailing, 2-0.

Leadoff man Alejandro De Aza brought in the first run with a single to right, cashing in A.J. Pierzynski, who extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a single.

Wise, playing in just his second game with Chicago this season, followed up with a single to right field to tie things up at 2.

With runners at the corners and Alex Rios at the plate, Alvarez attempted to pick Wise off first but threw the ball high and off the glove of David Cooper, allowing De Aza to score and give the White Sox a 3-2 lead.

"I just tried to get any chance I could to get to the next base. I saw the first baseman jump and I was ready," De Aza said.

Alvarez, who worked seven innings, lost his third consecutive start, dropping him to 7-10.

"I'm pleased with the way I pitched tonight," Alvarez said through interpreter Luis Rivera.

"I was more consistent with my pitches. All of my pitches were down and I was pitching in and out. I was throwing more on the corners tonight."

The White Sox won just their fourth game in their last 20 tries at Rogers Centre.

In Chicago's last 15 games, 13 have been decided by one or two runs.

Chris Toman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.