Mariners-White Sox Preview
The White Sox took two of three in their opening series on the strength of their starting pitching. They'll look for last year's surprise rookie to continue that theme against a Seattle Mariners team they've dominated in recent years.
Left-hander Jose Quintana gets the nod Friday night against visiting Seattle, which has split its first four games behind Michael Morse's power surge.
Chicago has won 24 of 28 meetings since the start of 2010 and hasn't dropped a series to the Mariners since 2009.
After limiting Kansas City to two runs in winning their first two games, the White Sox lost 3-1 on Thursday - but with little fault from starter Gavin Floyd. Floyd gave up two earned runs and four hits over six innings, following starts in which Chris Sale and Jake Peavy gave up a combined 11 hits in 13 2-3 innings.
Quintana gets the ball looking to build on an impressive first season in which he went 6-6 with a 3.76 ERA in 25 appearances after replacing the injured John Danks. He had a solid spring, going 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA in four games - three starts.
"You don't look at him the same way as you did last year," manager Robin Ventura told the team's official website. "You look at him as he's a little more mature than you think."
Quintana will be facing a Seattle club that totaled six runs in three games against Oakland outside of a 7-1 win Tuesday. Morse accounted for a big part of the team's production, hitting four homers in the last three games to join Ken Griffey Jr. in 1997 as the only Mariners to go deep four times in the first four contests. Griffey finished with 56 that season, while Morse's career high is 31 in 2011 with Washington.
"I'm just getting some good pitches to hit and trying to put the barrel on the ball and just let things happen," said Morse, who is hitting .375.
Opposing Quintana will be right-hander Blake Beavan, who will try to find more consistency after an up-and-down 2012. Beavan was sent to Triple-A Tacoma in June after going 3-6 with a 5.92 ERA in his first 12 starts, then returned after the All-Star break and was much better, recording an 8-5 record and 3.40 ERA across 14 starts.
"The second half is the pitcher I am," Beavan told the team's official website. "I know I can do that again. It's not rocket science. I figured out a lot of stuff when I got sent down and brought back up."
Beavan went 0-2 with a 5.73 ERA in two outings against Chicago last season. Paul Konerko is 4 for 5 with a homer when facing him.
After becoming the second White Sox catcher to homer twice in his first two games, Tyler Flowers had a single, was hit by a pitch and walked twice Thursday. Flowers' lone hit in two at-bats against Beavan is a home run.
Alex Rios, coming off a season in which he established career highs with a .304 average, 25 home runs and 91 RBIs, is 5 for 11 for Chicago. He's hitting .333 in 73 career games against Seattle, while Konerko is batting .315 with 31 homers in 119 matchups.
Quintana had a 4.26 ERA in two appearances against Seattle last season. In his lone start, he didn't earn a decision while giving up three earned runs and five hits over 5 2-3 innings in a 5-4 win Aug. 25.