White Sox defense shines in win
Chicago White Sox starter Jose Quintana can thank his own guile and a great leaping catch at the fence by Casper Wells on Sunday afternoon for not winding up with a 14th no-decision this season.
Quintana left the series finale against the Atlanta Braves at U.S. Cellular Field with two outs in the sixth with an apparent foot injury, but his bullpen plus Wells’ great catch in the eighth preserved a 3-1 win for the White Sox.
Addison Reed retired the side in order in the ninth for his 25th save, which gave the Sox a series win against the Braves (55-43) – who head off to Citi Field to play a four-game series against the Mets.
Alex Rios again led Chicago offensively, going 2-for-4, including an RBI single in the sixth off Atlanta starter Mike Minor that gave the Sox the two-run lead they held when Freddie Freeman came to the plate with a runner aboard in the eighth.
Freeman, who went 2-for-4 in his second game back from a minor thumb injury, lifted a shot to left off Nate Jones that might have tied the game had it not been for a leaping grab by Wells near the top of the fence for the inning’s second out. Joey Terdoslavich struck out looking to end that frame, and the Braves didn’t threaten again.
The White Sox gave Quintana a quick 1-0 lead in the first by manufacturing a run on a walk, a wild pitch and an RBI single by Adam Dunn. They got another run in the third for a 2-0 lead.
Even though he wasn’t particularly sharp, Quintana found ways to wiggle out of jams in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings. In the first five innings of his outing, Quintana allowed just one run to score despite giving up nine hits, walking two and knocking Braves catcher Gerald Laird out of the game by plunking him with a pitch in the fourth.
A double play negated a leadoff single to start the game, a line drive double play got him out of a bases-loaded situation in the second and he got Brian McCann to ground out with the bases full to end the third. The Braves also got two runners aboard in the fourth with two outs before Andrelton Simmons popped out. The Braves only plated one in the fifth on three hits, again stranding a pair on Dan Uggla’s flyout.
Quintana had to be checked out for a foot issue in that fifth inning, but continued and got his team out of another sticky spot. He retired the first two hitters in the sixth with no issue, but left the game after walking Simmons one pitch after manager Robin Ventura came out to check on him again.
NOTES: Paul Konerko returned to the White Sox from his rehab stint at Double-A Birmingham and is expected to be officially reinstated to the active roster prior to Monday’s series opener against the Detroit Tigers. Konerko, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list July 3 with a lower back strain, went 3-for-4 on Saturday night in his final game of the assignment and played first base. … Chicago is in the midst of playing 31 games in 31 days to start the post All-Star portion of the schedule. … The Braves sent LHP Paul Maholm back to Atlanta on Sunday to get his sprained left wrist checked out by the team’s hand specialist. … Atlanta called up 31-year old RHP Kameron Loe before the game and sent down INF/OF Tyler Pastornicky to make room on the roster. … Jason Heyward didn’t start for the fifth straight game with a right hamstring strain, but is expected to start in center field on Monday against the Mets.