Now that's the way to start a road trip.
After dropping last weekend's series to the Astros, which included a very messy 11-9 loss on Sunday, the White Sox were back on their game last night with the impressive 6-1 victory over the Cardinals in St. Louis.
That gives the South Siders a major league-leading 18-9 mark on the road, compared to their 16-18 home record, which is good enough for first place in the A.L. Central by a game and a half over the Indians. So much for home cooking.
Jose Quintana, the 23-year-old from Colombia who has come out of nowhere to wow all of us, led the way with 5 1/3 solid innings. In claiming his second victory of the season against a single loss, Quintana gave up 10 hits, but found a way to get out of jam after jam and left the game allowing only one run with no walks and four strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 1.98. Nate Jones, Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain and Addison Reed held the Cards scoreless in the final 3 2/3 innings.
The "Quintana Factor" is something for us to keep an eye on as he certainly seems destined to win a permanent spot in the rotation with terrific performance after terrific performance. I can't see him getting sent down when John Danks returns--and replacing Danks in the rotation is not realistic. But if you've seen Philip Humber or Gavin Floyd pitch lately, you'd have to agree there are potential spots open in the rotation. The smart money says Quintana moves into the rotation and Humber takes a seat in the pen.
Through seven innings last night it was a tight 2-1 game with Adam Wainwright holding up his end on the mound for St. Louis. He gave up only two runs, five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in his seven frames. Then, the Cardinal bullpen took over as Mark Rzepczynski and Mitchell Boggs each gave up a pair of runs in a four-run Sox eighth inning, highlighted by a solo homer by Adam Dunn, his 21st, and a two-run blast by A.J. Pierzynski, his 11th.
Sox Notes of Note: Give some credit to Orlando Hudson, who hit a two-out, two-run triple in the second to give the Sox an early 2-0 lead, and Gordon Beckham, who drove in Alejandro De Aza for the Sox's third run and first in the four-run eighth.
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Tags: A.J. Pierzynski, Adam Dunn, Adam Wainwright, Addison Reed, Alejandro De Aza, Astros, Cardinals, Gavin Floyd, Gordon Beckham, Indians, Jesse Crain, John Danks, Jose Quintana, Mark Rzepczynski, Matt Thornton, Mitchell Boggs, Nate Jones, Orlando Hudson, Philip Humber, White Sox