White Sox

White Sox routed as Cespedes homers twice off Jose Quintana

jose-quintana-rough-up-in-white-sox-rout-to-tigers.png

White Sox routed as Cespedes homers twice off Jose Quintana

DETROIT — All he needed was a strike and Jose Quintana could have avoided what has developed into his worst possible matchup.

But instead of ending a long first inning against J.D. Martinez, Quintana issued his only walk to load the bases and it quickly came back to haunt him. Yoenis Cespedes followed with a grand slam, the first of two homers he hit off Quintana on Sunday afternoon in a 9-1 Detroit Tigers rout of the White Sox at Comerica Park.

Quintana couldn’t escape the fifth inning as he allowed a career-worst nine earned runs.

“It’s a tough lineup to go through, but you have to be a little more aggressive, have them swinging the bat,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He just seemed to be 3-2 on everybody. Unusual for him to really be like that, so you just chalk it up to a bad day for him.”

In a lineup loaded with rough matchups for Quintana, J.D. Martinez has been a relative safe haven. While four of his teammates entered Sunday with at least a .350 average against Quintana, the Tigers right fielder was 1-for-8 with a walk and two strikeouts.

[MORE: Melky Cabrera thinks White Sox offense is 'one of the best']

But none of that matters, catcher Tyler Flowers said.

If Quintana is locating well, that should be enough. Even in his previous start on Wednesday night, Quintana got through six good innings against the Cleveland Indians with only command of his fastball.

“I couldn’t tell you who’d we’d rather take our shot with, both (J.D. Martinez and Cespedes) are good hitters,” Flowers said. “If we execute our pitches and the game plan, we’ll take our chances against any of them over there. That’s really what it’s more about.”

The lack of execution seemed to be biggest against J.D. Martinez, who came to the plate with two outs in the first inning on the heels of a Victor Martinez single to put runners on the corners. Already at 28 pitches, Quintana quickly got ahead in the count 0-2 but couldn’t put him away.

Quintana missed with three straight fastballs, two just off the outer edge, and couldn’t command his curveball, either.

The only walk Quintana issued brought up Cespedes, who had four hits in their previous six meetings, including two homers.

With the rain falling, Cespedes worked the count full before he ripped Quintana’s 40th pitch of the inning over the bullpen in left field for a grand slam.

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Get the latest White Sox gear here]

“It’s important for me to be ahead in the count,” Quintana said. “I got some balls up and you get a home run after that. The key today was throwing too many pitches in the first inning.

“Just a bad day. I have to forget it.”

It would get no easier for Quintana.

He gave up a leadoff triple in the second to James McCann and fell behind 5-0 on a Rajai Davis RBI single.

Then in the third, Cespedes struck again with a two-run homer off Quintana. The six RBIs are a career-high for Cespedes.

Quintana gave up two more doubles in the fifth inning and allowed 10 hits in four-plus innings.

“I know his mindset and the competitiveness he has,” Quintana said. “He’s not afraid of contact. … We’re trying to execute pitches perfectly and we were just missing a couple of times and that changes the whole at-bat.

“We just didn’t execute and when we got ahead of guys, we just didn’t execute putting them away and we ended up making a couple of mistakes.”

 

Ozzie Guillen rips Nick Swisher again while telling story from 2008

Ozzie Guillen rips Nick Swisher again while telling story from 2008

Ozzie Guillen isn’t done ragging on Nick Swisher. Guillen took another shot at the former White Sox outfielder while telling a story on White Sox Postgame Live Tuesday night.

When giving an example of why he loves Juan Uribe so much, Guillen decided to tell a story of an interaction between Swisher and Uribe on “Nick Swisher bobblehead night” at U.S. Cellular Field.

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest White Sox news and analysis.

“(Swisher) comes to Uribe and says, ‘Hey Juan, look at what I got!’” Guillen said while pretending to hold a bobblehead. “And Juan said, ‘Ya, you seen outside? I’ve got a statue. I’ve got it hitting, catching the ball when we won the World Series. You don’t.’ How about that one?”

Uribe was critical in the White Sox World Series championship, including recording the final two outs of Game 4. One of those outs-- his grab made while falling into the stands-- is the catch that has been enshrined outside Guaranteed Rate Field.

Nick Swisher only played one season in Chicago, and slashed .219/.332/.410 with a -1.4 dWAR.

Apparently that one season made quite the impression on Guillen, as he declared last week, “I hate Nick Swisher with my heart.”


RELATED: White Sox hitters rough up Carson Fulmer in first game against former team

SUBSCRIBE TO THE WHITE SOX TALK PODCAST FOR FREE.

Day after Keuchel calls out team, White Sox offense erupts in win over Tigers

Day after Keuchel calls out team, White Sox offense erupts in win over Tigers

Whatever Dallas Keuchel said after Monday night’s uninspiring loss to the Tigers really worked. Or maybe the return of Tim Anderson and Edwin Encarnacion to the lineup gave the Sox the spark they needed? Or maybe it was a little bit of both?

Whatever the reason, the White Sox offense finally broke out of its collective slump in Tuesday’s 8-4 win against Detroit.

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest White Sox news and analysis.

Leading the charge was Eloy Jiménez, who busted out of a slump of his own by going 2-4 with a homer and four RBI. He had previously been 1-23 dating back to Aug. 5, and used a simple approach to break through.

“I was in a slump, and I feel like I was seeing the ball good, but I wasn’t hitting it to the right spot,” Jiménez said through interpreter Billy Russo. “(I was) swinging at some balls a little bit out of the zone. Now I’m just trying to see the ball and hit it where there’s no people.”

That’s always a good idea.

But when asked for his thoughts on Jiménez’s day, Rick Renteria provided a bit more of a nuanced assessment.

“Consistency, there’s no secret to it,” Renteria said. “Solid approaches working both lefties and righties… faced some righties today and was able to stay in on them. The two-strike ball down the right field line to tack on another run, I mean he had some really good at-bats today.”

Zooming back out, this is the type of offensive output the White Sox envisioned when they built this team last winter. Tim Anderson setting the table, Jiménez and Encarnacion hitting bombs, and Abreu and Moncada driving in more runs with timely hitting.

“The entire lineup looked great,” said starter Gio Gonzalez. “Everyone looked aggressive going out there. Plays were being made around the horn, guys were doing their job hitting the ball, moving runners over. It just looked like a White Sox win today.”

“Today we felt really good,” Jiménez said. “We took care of business and you see what happened.”

RELATED: White Sox hitters rough up Carson Fulmer in first game against former team

SUBSCRIBE TO THE WHITE SOX TALK PODCAST FOR FREE.