White Sox-Blue Jays Preview
Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura admitted that maybe some of Jose Quintana's success in his last start had to do with the pitcher-friendly cold temperature.
The weather won't be working in Quintana's favor this time.
Quintana takes the ball looking to build on a stellar performance Wednesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays inside at Rogers Centre.
After being knocked around for six runs in four innings against Seattle in his season debut, Quintana (0-0, 4.09 ERA) allowed one hit and walked none while striking out seven in seven shutout innings in frigid Cleveland on Friday.
"He was aggressive,'' Ventura said. "He was getting ahead, he was painting."
Ventura acknowledged the pitchers' duel could have been attributed to the cold weather.
"Maybe the weather had a little bit to do with it," he said. "It's not an easy time to hit when it's this cold. But pitchers like it."
This will be Quintana's first start in Toronto with the roof closed, though the left-hander pitched well there last Aug. 14, allowing two runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 3-2 win.
The White Sox (6-8) dropped Monday's opener 4-3 before winning by the same score the following night. Dayan Viciedo doubled home the go-ahead run in the ninth inning and Chicago improved to 2-6 on a 10-game trip. It has plated four runs or fewer in each of its last seven contests.
"This has been a road trip from hell for us,'' said slugger Adam Dunn, who is 0 for 17 in the last five games. "We haven't been able to score any runs.''
Viciedo seems to be enjoying the warmer climate inside Rogers Centre, going 4 for 8 with a pair of RBIs after going hitless in 11 at-bats in Cleveland.
Paul Konerko hit a game-tying homer and scored three runs Tuesday, and has been doing just fine at the plate regardless of the conditions. He is batting .357 with three home runs and nine RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak, and is 12 for 28 (.429) in his last eight versus the Blue Jays (6-8).
Toronto slugger Jose Bautista will sit for the third straight game due to a sore back.
J.P Arencibia has provided the power with Bautista out, homering in both games to give him five on the season. All of his homers have come in eight games at Rogers Centre, where he's batting .355. He's hitting .143 in five road contests.
Arencibia will likely be behind the plate to catch J.A. Happ (2-0, 3.48), who overcame a shaky start to get the win in Friday's 8-4 final at Kansas City.
The lefty gave up three runs on 41 pitches in the first inning, but allowed just one more run before coming out after the fifth, when his pitch count reached 110. Happ's efficiency has been a bit of a concern early on, as he threw 99 pitches in 5 1-3 scoreless innings against Boston in his season debut.
This will be Happ's first career outing against the White Sox, who can work the count, averaging 3.9 pitches per plate appearance to rank in the top half in the majors.