PITTSBURGH — Jose Quintana didn’t get any support again on Tuesday night.
But this one can be attributed to a White Sox offense that isn’t scoring for anyone, not just him in particular.
Losers of five straight, the White Sox haven’t scored in 25 innings as the Pittsburgh Pirates shut them out again, 3-0, in front of 28,413 at PNC Park.
Shut out for the sixth time this season, the White Sox, who are now a season-worst seven games under .500, haven’t scored since the second inning on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays. The White Sox dropped to 5-28 this season when scoring three or fewer runs.
“If you are going to keep putting up zeroes, it’s tough to win games,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “We have to be able to swing the bats better. You tip your hats somewhat, but some of it is a funk we are in. We have to be able to find a way out of it.”
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Quintana might wonder if he’ll ever get any run support. He’s always had the worst of it, and this season has been no different — the White Sox have scored 22 runs for the left-hander while he has been on the mound in 13 starts.
But this turn came during the middle of what has been a rut for the White Sox, who scored 10 runs on their winless five-game road trip.
Unlike Sunday, when the White Sox struggled with plenty of early chances against Tampa Bay, the last two days have been different.
On Monday, Francisco Liriano and Rob Scahill limited the White Sox to three base runners.
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Tuesday it was Charlie Morton (5-0) and Co. who got it done.
“You throw up a couple of donuts in two games here, you are not going to win,” Ventura said. “These guys have to fight their way out of it. They have to keep grinding and somehow find that groove.”
With his sinkerball working to perfection, Morton allowed four hits and a walk over seven scoreless innings. He got 12 of 21 outs via ground balls, including both times when he ran into trouble.
The White Sox looked as if they might break through in the first inning as Adam Eaton drew a leadoff walk and stole second base. But Eaton was thrown out at third on Alexei Ramirez’s chopper in front of the plate as the leadoff man overslid the base in an attempt to avoid a tag. Jose Abreu singled, but Melky Cabrera flew out and Avisail Garcia grounded out.
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Starting with Cabrera, Morton retired 17 of 18 batters. He gave up a single to Cabrera in the seventh and another to Geovany Soto with two outs. But Morton retired pinch hitter Adam LaRoche on a force out at second.
Tony Watson and Mark Melancon recorded scoreless innings to end it.
“Whether they are trying too hard or not, maybe you try harder,” Ventura said.
The Pirates didn’t have a ton of success against Quintana, but it was enough.
After leaving the bases loaded in the first, Pittsburgh broke through in the third on an RBI single by Andrew McCutchen to make it 1-0.
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Sean Rodriguez had a solo homer in the fourth inning, and Francisco Cervelli added another in the sixth. Quintana yielded both homers after allowing four all season in his previous 74 1/3 innings.
Quintana’s record dropped to 3-7 as he gave up three earned runs and nine hits in six innings.
“Everybody tries to do their best for us and day by day,” Quintana said. “Sometimes you have bad nights and bad days, but everybody tries to do the best for the team.
“Sometimes you can feel frustration because you prepare every time to win games. But that’s baseball. You try to do the best every day.”