CHICAGO — Jose Quintana needed some help to finish it off, but his impressive outing for the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night didn’t go to waste.
Quintana picked up his third win of the season by taking a bid for a no-hitter one out into the seventh inning at U.S. Cellular Field before turning it over to the bullpen in Chicago’s 3-1 win against the Boston Red Sox (27-19).
After Quintana left in the seventh to a standing ovation, there were some anxious moments for him to sweat out as a spectator. The first was the situation he left for reliever Jesse Crain, who came into the game with a 15 2/3 scoreless innings streak.
Quintana departed with a slim 2-0 lead, just one out and the bases loaded — so Crain had a tall order. Despite running the count full on Will Middlebrooks, Crain struck him out and followed it up by fanning Stephen Drew to end the threat.
A great play by first baseman Paul Konerko was the key to getting out of another sticky situation in the eighth — when the Red Sox cut the lead to 2-1 on a walk, single and fielding error. David Ortiz hit a sharp grounder to Konerko, who started an inning-ending double play by quickly throwing to Alexei Ramirez at second for the relay throw to first for yet another great escape by the White Sox (21-23) — who won their first series at home since April 5-7.
Chicago added an insurance run in the eighth to again make it a two-run lead and closer Addison Reed finished it off in the ninth — in a driving rain storm — for his 16th save. Quintana (3-1) didn’t allow a run in his 6 1/3 innings and struck out five, while Crain extended his scoreless innings streak to 16 1/3 innings spread over 18 games.
Alex Rios led the way for the White Sox offensively, going 2-for-4 with an RBI double, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 16 games. Felix Doubront started and took the loss for the Red Sox (27-19), going six innings and allowing two runs.
Quintana allowed just two batters to reach base through the first six innings, a second-inning walk to Daniel Nava and a sixth-inning walk to Jacoby Ellsbury.
Doubront was nearly as sharp through the first four frames, but he ran into trouble in the fifth, starting with a two-out single by Dayan Viciedo. Jeff Keppinger followed with a home run to left to give Quintana a 2-0 lead.
Notes: LHP Chris Sale was scratched from a scheduled start today against Boston because of what the White Sox are calling mild tendinitis in the posterior of his left shoulder. Sale is expected to make his next start May 30 against the Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field. ... LHP John Danks (offseason shoulder surgery) is back in Chicago after a minor league rehab stint and could be close to returning to the White Sox’s rotation. A decision is expected as soon as after Wednesday’s game. ... OF Shane Victorino did not start for the Red Sox and is undergoing treatment for a hamstring flare-up that caused him to leave Monday night’s game early. Victorino will stay on the active roster for at least a week to see how it heals, but Boston manager John Farrell said a disabled-list stint is still possible. ... Red Sox C David Ross (concussion) intensified his pregame workout routine prior to Tuesday’s game. He hit off a tee, ran sprints and did some side-to-side agility work while experiencing no concussion-related issues.