White Sox

Jose Quintana pushes White Sox to a much-needed 2015 first

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Jose Quintana pushes White Sox to a much-needed 2015 first

MILWAUKEE — The White Sox took another small step toward pulling themselves out of their early-season doldrums Wednesday night.

Behind Jose Quintana’s masterful seven innings, the White Sox beat Milwaukee, 4-2, at Miller Park to lock down their first road series win of the season. After losing Game 1 in Wisconsin, Chris Sale and Quintana turned in back-to-back strong outings to double the White Sox number of road wins on the season.

“For Chris to get the first one yesterday and Q coming back and almost going eight, it is important,” manager Robin Ventura said. “It's important to kind of get that mindset out there for those guys. I know that's what they want and it's good to get close to that.”

The White Sox entered this series at Miller Park with a major league worst 2-11 road record, though they hadn’t lost any of their five series at U.S. Cellular Field. But 97 miles north up I-94, the White Sox finally started to look like the team they thought they’d be, even if it came at the expense of the last-place Brewers.

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Quintana was handed a three-run lead before even taking the mound Wednesday. Melky Cabrera’s first-inning sacrifice fly scored Adam Eaton, who led off the game with a 12-pitch at-bat, and was promptly followed by back-to-back home runs from Avisail Garcia and Adam LaRoche. It was the first time in 2015 the White Sox hit back-to-back home runs.

The 26-year-old left-hander took it from there and said the comfort of an early lead helped as he faced one over the minimum through six. He ran into some seventh inning trouble, allowing leadoff singles to Khris Davis and Ryan Braun, but Emilio Bonifacio’s outstanding diving stop took away a hit from Carlos Gomez for the first out. Quintana shut the door on a swift Brewers comeback by striking out Adam Lind and Martin Maldonado to end the frame.

Quintana’s shutout was broken up in the eighth, but his final stat line remained impressive: Seven innings, one run, four hits, one walk and 10 strikeouts. He threw 80 of his 112 pitches for strikes.

“He threw great,” Ventura said. “He was throwing strikes, got ahead early. We got a nice lead for him there in the first. We had a rally early that was nice to see. He did it on his own. That's more of the stuff you expect out of him. When he throws strikes like that and is that aggressive, he's been good.”

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Pitching, defense, timely hitting and a couple home runs — that’s a pretty sound winning formula.

“Everything’s coming together,” Garcia said. “We had a bad road (trip two weeks) ago, so we have to keep working and hopefully everybody stays healthy.”

The White Sox aren’t getting ahead of themselves after taking these last three series, seeing as they’re still three games under .500 heading into this weekend’s set in Oakland. But there’s a confidence that, finally, the arrow is pointing up and they might just finally be entering an era of good feelings.

“We’ve had a good atmosphere in the dugout, the guys have been playing really hard, the offense is coming through, the pitching’s doing well,” closer David Robertson, who notched save No. 7 Wednesday, said. “We’re just playing a lot better brand of baseball now.

“… The good thing about baseball is you play 162 games so we have plenty of time to figure it out.”

Tim Anderson helped off field with ankle sprain, will be reevaluated Wednesday

Tim Anderson helped off field with ankle sprain, will be reevaluated Wednesday

White Sox fans saw a sight they hoped they'd never see Tuesday night.

Tim Anderson was helped off the field with an ankle injury in the fifth inning of Tuesday night's game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, hurt while making a play on a ground ball on a wet night in Massachusetts.

The White Sox announced later in the evening that Anderson has a sprained ankle and that X-rays were negative. The team added that Anderson will be reevaluated Wednesday.

Anderson made an on-the-run throw to nab J.D. Martinez at first base, but a play that Anderson has made look fairly routine over the past couple seasons this time included a slip on the rain-soaked infield. The White Sox star shortstop fell to the ground in pain immediately. After having his ankle briefly checked by the trainer, Anderson was helped off the field, into the dugout and into the clubhouse.

The rain poured down on Fenway Park on Tuesday night. The start of the game was delayed a half hour, but the teams played through steady rains throughout, worsening playing conditions, something the White Sox and every team across baseball have had to deal with quite often this season.

The degree of Anderson's ankle sprain is unknown, but the sight of him coming off the field was a nightmarish one for the White Sox and their fans. A sigh of relief came with the team's update, which did not include the words "Achilles" or "tear."

Anderson has emerged as one of the faces of the franchise this season, earning AL Player of the Month honors after a sensational April and earning national attention for flipping his bat after home runs and his mission to make what he calls a "boring" game more fun. He's got a .317/.342/.491 slash line on the season.

Anderson is undoubtedly a core piece for the rebuilding White Sox, who can pen him in as their shortstop of the future as well as the present.

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Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: Will the White Sox get a win in Boston against the former World Series Champs?

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USA TODAY

Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: Will the White Sox get a win in Boston against the former World Series Champs?

Scott Podsednik and Doug Glanville join Leila Rahimi to talk all things Chicago baseball as the Cubs take on game two against the Braves and the Sox look to get a win in Boston.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: