Closing Time: Jose Quintana, White Sox get better of Felix Doubront, Red Sox
|05.21.13 at 10:56 pm ET|
CHICAGO — Jose Quintana certainly has made his mark on the Red Sox.
After shutting out Boston for eight innings last July 19 at Fenway Park, the White Sox lefty held John Farrell‘s team hitless through 6 1/3 innings Tuesday night on the way to a 3-1 win for the hosts at U.S. Cellular Field.
Quintana carried his no-hitter into the seventh inning, when, with one out, David Ortiz reached out and hit a broken-bat single to left-center on the White Sox starter’s 95th pitch.
The Red Sox ultimately drove Quintana from the game later in the seventh after two more singles, from Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava, loaded the bases with one out. But reliever Jesse Crain came on to strike out both Will Middlebrooks and Stephen Drew to end the visitors’ threat.
The 24-year-old Quintana is no stranger to dominance, having used 2012 to become the first rookie to throw eight scoreless innings or more three times in a season since Justin Verlander‘s 2006 campaign.
The Sox had another threat in the eighth, when they closed the gap to a run when Dustin Pedroia‘s hard grounder bounced up on Alexei Ramirez just enough to skip past the shortstop, allowing Jarrod Saltalamacchia to score from third. But with runners on first and third and one out, Ortiz grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to snuff out the opportunity.
“It was obviously a situation you plan on producing, but it happens,” Ortiz said. “We’ll come back tomorrow and try to win.”
On most other nights, the effort turned in by Red Sox starter Felix Doubront would have been good enough. The lefty came out after 85 pitches, allowing two runs on five hits, striking out three and walking two.
“It was consistent with his last outing down in Tampa and I think he’s on to something with the adjustments he’s made,” Farrell said. “I thought today was another positive step for him here tonight.”
The reason for the exit after a relatively light pitch count?
“[Pitching coach] Juan [Nieves] came to talk to me, said they want to build the trust, the confidence back,” Doubront said. “The next one’s going to be better, I’m going to throw more.”
With the loss, the Red Sox will have dropped a road series for just the second time in eighth chances. They also are 1-10 when scoring less than three runs.
Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ 19th loss of the season.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— Doubront had been cruising through the first 4 2/3 innings, allowing just one hit and a walk. But, with two outs in the fifth, Dayan Viciedo‘s grounder narrowly found the hole between shortstop and third base, paving the way for Jeff Keppinger to deposit a first-pitch, 90 mph fastball from Doubront into the left-field seats. It was just the third homer allowed by the lefty this season.
— Alex Wilson allowed a two-out double to Alex Rios, scoring Ramirez and giving the White Sox a two-run lead heading into the ninth inning. It marked the first time in his last six outings Wilson has given up a run. It was just the second earned run allowed by the Red Sox bullpen on the road trip (24 innings).
— All nine of the runs the Red Sox have given up in the series have come with two outs.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— After walking Alejandro De Aza to kick off the home half of the fourth, Doubront induced a grounder down the first base line off the bat of Ramirez. Napoli made a nice play to field the ball, step on the bag and then throw a strike to Drew for the double play.
— Jacoby Ellsbury had one of the more impressive at-bats of the night for the Red Sox, working a two-out, eight-pitch walk against Quintana. The semi-rally was quickly ended, however, with sJonny Gomes finishing off the visitors half of the sixth with a strikeout. Ellsbury also singled in the eighth, putting runners on first and second and nobody on.
— Doubront managed to escape a jam in the sixth inning after putting a pair of runners on with two outs, inducing a long fly ball off the bat of Adam Dunn. The count went to 3-and-2 on the lefty slugger, who has just three hits against lefty pitchers this season.
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