SEATTLE -- He didn’t earn a victory on Friday night, but the top shelf of Jose Quintana’s locker bore a nice consolation prize -- the WWE championship belt.
While Quintana earned the 61st no decision of his career, his teammates rewarded him for a stellar outing with their top daily player prize, a replica wrestling title belt.
Having lost four straight, the White Sox finally emerged victorious behind eight innings of one-hit ball from Quintana. Melky Cabrera doubled in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning to lift the White Sox to a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
It’s the third time this season that teammates have honored Quintana, who lowered his earned-run average to 3.92, with the belt.
“I’m happy with that gift,” Quintana said. “First team win and it’s the end of a losing streak and that’s most important. Good feeling tonight.”
It could have been another instance in a long line of always-the-bridesmaid-never-the-bride moments for Quintana, who yet again barely got a lick of run support from his teammates. Quintana limited the Mariners to one hit in eight innings, the first time in his career he’s yielded that few hits in as many frames.
But just as it appeared he might take another disappointing loss, Jose Abreu came to the rescue. His 464-foot blast off Seattle’s Ariel Miranda tied the game at 1 with two outs in the sixth inning as it soared into the upper tank in left.
However, that was all the White Sox could muster for Quintana.
The lack of support is nothing new for Quintana, whose 3.86 run-support average since 2012 is the second-lowest in the majors in that time among active pitchers. But this season has been even worse as the White Sox have a 2.37 run-support average whenever Quintana’s on the hill.
Despite his woes, Quintana continues to handle it well. He dominated the Mariners for eight innings on Friday to prove it. The left-hander threw strikes on 64 of 99 pitches, walked only one and struck out seven batters.
Beyond Danny Valencia, who tripled and scored in the second inning, no Seattle hitters reached second base against Quintana or reliever David Robertson, who pitched two scoreless innings. They combined for a one-hitter.
“Q went out there tonight and was lights out,” Robertson said. “He was throwing the ball where he wanted to when he wanted to. When he got in deep counts, he battled his way out of them and got outs. He was exceptional tonight. I wish we scored more runs, but that is part of baseball and I was happy we got a win tonight.”
Cabrera sealed the team’s first win since Sunday with a two-out RBI double in the 10th inning. The victory was only the third for the White Sox in eight starts by Quintana this season. So even though he was robbed of individual glory, Quintana was more than happy to see the White Sox losing streak snapped.
“It’s the important for us, for all players,” Quintana said. “No matter if I won or not versus the team. Take every win and keep winning games and stay focused and play hard every night so tomorrow we lead the series and we keep going and never stop. Just keep doing all the things.”