MINNEAPOLIS — The White Sox offense had a chance to help out Jose Quintana, who had his worst start of the season on Thursday night.
Even though Todd Frazier and Jose Abreu homered, the White Sox missed out on too many scoring chances. Quintana allowed seven runs and the White Sox stranded 13 base runners in an 8-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins in front of 20,329 at Target Field. The win snapped a 13-game losing streak for the Twins, who would have tied a franchise-record with 14 losses.
“The homers, especially early, five runs in one inning,” Quintana said. “I tried to stop the game after that, tried to make it so the hitters couldn’t come back. But when you give up two more runs after you retire 10 batters straight, it’s a bad one. It was a bad night for me. I’ll turn the page, and that’s it. I’ll try to just keep going with the next one.”
Perhaps the White Sox should have known how their night would go only three batters into the game. That’s when Melky Cabrera’s line-drive single produced the second out of the inning as it clipped Tim Anderson, who was standing off first after he singled. Abreu also singled, but Ervin Santana struck out Justin Morneau to strand two.
Though Frazier’s 34th homer made it 1-0 in the second, the White Sox stranded two more. They left the bases loaded in the third inning, stranded another man in the fourth and left on a pair in the fifth inning.
Despite allowing 11 hits and walking two, Santana held the White Sox to two runs.
“We left a lot of guys out there,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You look up there, we left 10 guys at one point and they cashed everybody in. When you see you left 10 guys and they didn’t leave any at one point, that really tells the tale more than Q.”
Quintana wasn’t as lucky.
The Twins hit four straight one-out singles in the second inning and Byron Buxton followed with a three-run homer to put the Twins ahead 5-1. Quintana, whose 2.77 ERA was tops among American League starters entering Thursday, then retired 10 in a row. But Minnesota got a two-out hit from Joe Mauer in the fifth inning and Trevor Plouffe homered to make it a 7-2 game.
Quintana allowed seven earned runs and seven hits with eight strikeouts in five innings. His ERA rose to 3.05.
Abreu blasted a two-run homer off Taylor Rogers in the sixth inning as the White Sox closed within 7-4.
Another highlight for the White Sox was the twin debuts of pitcher Juan Minaya and catcher Kevan Smith in the bottom of the eighth inning. Both arrived earlier in the day from Triple-A Charlotte.
“It feels great. I’ve been waiting for this a long time. Now I want to take advantage,” Minaya said.
With a little help from Smith, Minaya, who was claimed off waivers from Houston in June, bounced back after he walked the first batter he faced. With one out, Minaya struck out Kurt Suzuki and Smith fired to catch Jorge Polanco stealing second base to end the inning.
Though he knew Minaya was entering the game, Smith thought his coaches in the bullpen were kidding when they told him to take the field. Smith — who previously missed out on his debut in April when he injured his back during pregame warmups — also lined out to center field in the bottom of the ninth.
“They were kind of smirking and laughing and I wasn’t too sure and they said, ‘Hey, you better get going,’ and I wasn’t too sure what happened,” Smith said. “But I felt comfortable as ever out there. I didn’t feel out of place. (Umpire Greg Gibson) behind the plate said, ‘You look comfortable as ever.’ That was a little confidence booster and fortunately Minaya got his first strikeout and I got my first throw out at the same time. Certainly an exciting and memorable moment.”