CLEVELAND (AP) Jose Quintana sprinted to the mound before pitching the ninth inning. He wanted to finish what he started.
Quintana did just that, pitching a seven-hitter for his first career shutout and complete game and Jose Abreu homered off Corey Kluber, sending the Chicago White Sox to a 6-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.
Quintana (5-9) talked to manager Robin Ventura after the eighth and assured him he could go one more inning. The White Sox haven’t given Quintana much run support this season, so Ventura wanted to reward the left-hander for his efforts.
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”He was sharp and I think there was something about what he’s had to endure,” Ventura said. ”I felt we were playing good defense and it helped him. He was sharp from the get-go locating and got out of some jams. Shockingly, we scored a bunch of runs for him, which he was happy about.”
Quintana got his first win since July 1 with customary control and efficiency. He did not allow a walk and hasn’t yielded a base on balls in five of his past six starts. The Indians only got two runners as far as second base against Quintana, who was making his 107th major league start.
He struck out eight and improved to 5-1 with a 2.58 ERA in 13 career starts against the Indians.
Following the game, Quintana stashed a souvenir ball from his milestone win into his bag.
”I feel good and amazing,” he said. ”Feels good when you walk off the field and the game is over. It’s unbelievable. Feels good when you get support especially off a guy like Kluber.”
Abreu homered in the sixth off Kluber (5-11) and Melky Cabrera, batting .474 in his career against the defending Cy Young Award winner, hit a two-run double in the eighth to make it 4-0.
That was more than enough runs against the Indians, who are 9-38 when they score three runs or less. And they haven’t given Kluber any support as Cleveland’s lineup has scored three runs or fewer in 18 of his 20 starts – and none in five outings.
It’s been that kind of season for Kluber, who has pitched much better than his record shows.
”Yeah, that’s a shame,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. ”He goes into the eighth giving up two (runs) and gives up two more and we get him and we’re trying to hold it there. It’s a shame because he sure pitched a heck of a lot better than that.”
Alexei Ramirez added a two-run double in Chicago’s four-run eighth and the slick shortstop had two defensive gems behind Quintana.
Abreu’s 15th homer gave the White Sox a 2-0 lead in the sixth.
With two outs, he connected on Kluber’s first pitch, hitting a towering shot over the wall in left-center. It was Abreu’s ninth career homer in 27 games against Cleveland.
The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the third with an assist from Kluber.
Ramirez led off with a single and stole second, just beating catcher Yan Gomes’ one-skip throw. Ramirez moved up on a groundout and scored when Kluber unleashed a wild pitch.
The Indians ran themselves out of a potential rally in the third. With Jason Kipnis on first and two outs, Michael Brantley hit an infield single to deep short. Kipnis, though, rounded second too hard and was alertly caught off the bag by Ramirez, who threw behind Cleveland’s second baseman.
Ramirez made another excellent play in the fifth, ranging to his left to knock down Mike Aviles’ line drive. As he drifted toward the outfield, Ramirez scooped the ball with his glove between his legs to second for a forceout.
ON THE RISE
Ramirez went 3 for 4 with two steals. He’s batting .333 (20 for 60) in July to raise his average from .212 to .234.
White Sox: Reliever Nate Jones, who had Tommy John surgery a year ago, pitched a scoreless inning for Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday. Manager Robin Ventura is happy with the progress the 29-year-old has made, but there is still no timetable on when he might get called up. Jones went 8-0 as a rookie in 2012.
White Sox: LHP Chris Sale entered the weekend leading the AL in strikeouts with 163, including 137 over his last 13 starts. He is 3-4 in his career against Cleveland with a 3.97 ERA.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco, whose name has been mentioned in some trade rumors, is riding a four-game winning streak against the AL Central. He’s 4-0 inside the division since May 6. He’s 1-1 versus the White Sox this season.