KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Robin Ventura was being facetious when he noted that Jose Quintana has performances similar to Sunday afternoon’s once every couple of years.
While the White Sox manager may have stretched the truth a little, his point about Quintana’s consistency is correct. To see Quintana struggle as he did in Sunday’s 10-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals in front of 34,982 at Kauffman Stadium is very rare. Not only was Quintana off the mark, the Royals managed to hit him hard to the tune of 10 hits and six earned runs in four innings.
“He just wasn’t his normal self, the stuff you would expect from him,” Ventura said. “They hit him pretty hard, too. You start looking at that, he had a couple of walks in there. He just wasn’t locating the way he usually does. It was just an off day for him.
“But just a rare one for Q.
“You never really expect one of these coming out of him.”
Alex Avila threw a runner out, which might have prevented the contest from getting out of hand in the first inning. But already ahead 1-0, Kansas City continued to attack in the second inning. Alex Gordon led off the frame with a solo homer and Quintana allowed two more singles sandwiched around a walk to fall behind 3-0. Eric Hosmer’s fielder’s choice drove in another run to put Kansas City ahead by four.
Todd Frazier’s two-run homer in the fourth inning off Danny Duffy got the White Sox back within 4-2. But Quintana gave the two runs right back in the bottom of the fourth as Hosmer singled in a run and Kendrys Morales, who later homered off Chris Beck, doubled in a run.
“It was a bad day for me,” Quintana said. “I think I was fighting too much with my delivery, especially the first couple innings and I was behind the counts. This happens sometimes. Tried to comeback but it was a little late.
“Ran too much to the middle, especially the fastball. A couple high counts. It was just a bad day.”
It was the second-most runs allowed this season by Quintana, who saw his earned-run average climb from 3.05 to 3.26.
Duffy allowed three earned runs and eight hits in seven-plus innings pitched.
Avisail Garcia also singled in a run in the losing effort.
Frazier finished with three hits in four trips.
“Guys were just getting on the ball,” Frazier said of Quintana. “That’s like the first time I’ve ever seen him do that in a year and that’s unbelievable, to be honest with you.”
Quintana said he feels strong even though he knew early he wasn’t quite himself. But similar to how he’s able to move on from tough losses or no decisions, Quintana intends to turn his attention toward his next start at Cleveland next weekend. He wants to make the most of his final two starts, surpass 200 innings yet again and perhaps even log a complete game.
“Turn the page and focus on the next one,” Quintana said. “That’s what happens sometimes and try to finish strong.
“I want to finish strong.”