DETROIT -- Another great season by Jose Quintana continues to go largely unrewarded.
While the White Sox avoided a combined no-hitter with a ninth-inning rally on Tuesday night, they failed yet again to deliver offense for Quintana in a 2-1 loss in 10 innings to the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
Tyler Saladino tripled with one out in the ninth off Neftali Feliz to break up the Tigers’ no-hit bid and scored on Adam Eaton’s RBI single to take Quintana off the hook for what would have been another difficult loss. But Quintana earned his 12th no decision of the season and major-league leading 51st since 2012 despite only allowing a run in seven innings. Detroit won in the 10th on a two-out RBI triple by Rajai Davis off Zach Duke.
“It’s a shame,” catcher Tyler Flowers said. “Thank goodness (Quintana) didn’t take the loss today with how well he did and how deep he went into the game, again against a lineup that gives him a hard time.”
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The White Sox offense has been notoriously bad with Quintana on the mound this season, producing two runs or fewer of support in 19 of his 31 starts.Those totals include seven total runs scored in Quintana’s 10 losses.
They were even worse on Tuesday.
Tigers starter Daniel Norris -- who worked on a strict pitch count -- retired all 15 batters he faced with ease. Reliever Buck Farmer struck out two in the sixth to keep a perfect bid alive for the Tigers, who never before had a combined no-hitter in club history. Ian Krol ended the perfect game when he hit Eaton with the second pitch of the seventh inning but retired the next three batters and passed the baton to Drew VerHagen, who delivered a perfect eighth inning.
“It’s kind of the same for (Quintana) -- there’s nothing there as far as getting scraps,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
Saladino broke up the no-hitter in the ninth inning with a one-outtriple to left center off Neftali Feliz and Eaton singled past a drawn-in infield.
But the production arrived long after the departure of Quintana, who easily maneuvered his way through Tigers lineup for six innings. Quintana induced three double plays through five innings and faced only three over the minimum through six.
J.D. Martinez, Nick Castellanos and James McCann all singled with one out in the seventh inning to end the scoreless tie. But Quintana struck out Anthony Gose to strand two runners to end the inning.
He allowed eight hits, walked one and struck out five with strikes on 71 of 110 pitches.
“I knew (about the no-hitter) because I had the scoreboard right in front of me,” Quintana said. “That’s part of the game. The other starter threw five perfect innings. Every time when I go out I try to be focused on what I have control over.”
In his last 4 starts, Quintana is 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA in 27 innings. He has allowed four runs (three earned) and 23 hits with five walks and 21 strikeouts.
Quintana -- who needs to record eight outs for his third straight season of at least 200 innings -- lowered his earned-run average to 3.38 and his Fielding Independent Pitching to 3.11, which is 16th lowest in the majors, according to fangraphs.com.
Despite a career ERA-plus of 115, Quintana never has received notoriety, not that he minds. Still, he’s never sniffed an All-Star roster spot nor do you ever hear his name mentioned among the American League’s top pitchers and it may stem from his career record, which sits at 33-34 through 121 games (118 starts).
Even so, Flowers said Quintana has the ability to focus every time out and never complains, which is why he believes he has been as successful as he has.
“I would guess (the record is) part of it,” Flowers said. “You look up at the end of the day and you see a guy, whatever his record is, it doesn’t stand out as someone to really take notice of but he definitely is. He’s definitely one of our horses here and continues to prove that every time he’s out there. Unfortunately we don’t seem to come up with that many runs for him.”