Jose Quintana did everything he could Wednesday night to earn a 10th victory for the first time in his career.
But one mistake to Mike Moustakas and a boatload of stranded White Sox base runners left him one win shy of double digits for a third straight season. Quintana pitched nine strong innings only to watch the White Sox fall to the Kansas City Royals 5-3 in 10 innings. Eric Hosmer’s two-run homer off David Robertson in the 10th lifted the Royals to the victory.
Jose Abreu hit his 30th homer in the losing effort.
“It doesn't diminish what Q did out there,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It comes down to we don't score enough for him. That's pretty obvious. Again, that means nothing as far as how good he is. We know how good he is and we just wish we'd score more for him.”
Quintana completed nine innings for only the second time in his career.
He gave up a third-inning homer to Alex Gordon that tied the score at 1. And he left a curveball up to Moustakas in the sixth that was hit for a two-run homer as Kansas City pulled ahead 3-1.
But that was it.
He threw strikes on 71.8 percent of his pitches (that’s good) and allowed three runs and five hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. But the effort ended Quintana up shy of what he considers an important victory once again as he earned his 13th no decision of the season and 52nd of his career.
“It’s important for me because I’ve never had it,” Quintana said. “But my point is to try to get as many wins as you can for the team. Everything is about the team. I’ll try to keep going. The season is done for me right now, but I’ll try to focus on the next season. I’ll rest right now and work hard for the next one.”
Quintana finished the season 9-10 with a 3.36 ERA in a career high 206 1/3 innings. He started 32 games and struck out 177 against only 44 walks. Quintana’s 1.92 walks-per-nine total is the lowest of his career.
When he surpassed 200 innings in the third, Quintana became the first White Sox pitcher to reach 200 innings, 30-plus starts and 160-plus strikeouts in three straights seasons since Javier Vazquez in 2006-08.
“He just doesn’t get rattled out there,” Robertson said. “He just keeps going, he pounds the zone. He keeps the ball down. He’s a competitor. He’s the kind of guy you want out there every five days because you know he will give you something special.
“I haven’t helped him out. I’ve blown a couple of his games so he should have 10. It’s unfortunate. I wish I would have been better at my job so that he had 10 wins but, his innings, his ERA, strikeouts, walks, everything shows he’s a quality pitcher and he gets the job done.”
The White Sox grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning on an RBI single by Adam Eaton — one of the team’s six singles in the first two frames. But Edinson Volquez didn’t break as he left the bases loaded in the first and struck out Abreu and retired Melky Cabrera on a hard groundout in the second.
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The White Sox stranded two more in the fifth inning, another in the sixth and two in the eighth.
Volquez did surrender Abreu’s solo homer in the seventh inning as the White Sox pulled within a run.
With his homer, Abreu became the first American Leaguer, and third player ever, to hit 30 in each of his first two seasons. Abreu’s blast helped him match the starts of Albert Pujols and Ryan Braun. With his next RBI, Abreu would join Pujols as the only players in baseball history to start their careers with 30-homer, 100-RBI seasons.
Abreu had an opportunity in the bottom of the eighth to break the 3-all tie, pick up his 100th RBI and help Quintana to his 10th victory but grounded out with the go-ahead run at third with two outs.
The White Sox stranded 11 base runners in the loss.
“(Quintana) was great, outstanding, you can use all of them,” Ventura said. “We thought we had a chance there to get him one. Again, just his consistency is always the impressive part and you feel bad because this guy pitched great. He always goes out there and gives you a chance. It's unfortunate.”