BOSTON (MCT) — During the midst of their starting pitching juggling act, the Chicago White Sox kept Jake Peavy and Chris Sale on an extra day of rest for this weekend’s American League Central showdown in Detroit.
But just as important was that they did the same for Jose Quintana, who gave the White Sox eight shutout innings Thursday night.
That, however, wasn’t enough as Cody Ross hit a three-run homer off Addison Reed with one out in the ninth to give the Boston Red Sox a 3-1 victory and cut the White Sox’s lead over the Detroit Tigers to 1 1/2 games.
“I made a bad pitch and can’t take it back, so there’s no reason to dwell on it,” Reed said.
Reed relieved Matt Thornton, who started the ninth by allowing a hit to Carl Crawford and a one-out single to Adrian Gonzalez.
That spoiled a masterful 103-pitch outing from Quintana, who retired 19 of his first 20 batters before working out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh en route to lowering his ERA to 2.30.
“It was my call to take (Quintana) out and bring in someone,” Ventura said.
The White Sox played without Kevin Youkilis, who missed his first game in 20 since joining the White Sox because of a tight left hamstring that isn’t expected to sideline him this weekend.
The White Sox scored their only run in a resourceful manner as 285-pound Adam Dunn moved from first to third on Paul Konerko’s single and scored on Alex Rios’ sacrifice fly in the fourth.
The White Sox are 33-22 since they last played the Tigers on May 15. They also have continued their defensive prowess, as evidenced when shortstop Alexei Ramirez stumbled forward but recovered while on the ground to field Will Middlebrooks’ grounder and turn it into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded to end the seventh.
Quintana, who had allowed only one hit — a two-out triple to Pedro Ciriaco in the third — until the seventh, pumped his fist vigorously.
The White Sox have allowed an AL-low 14 unearned runs this season, thanks to their defense.
But they missed a chance to turn a double play when third baseman Eduardo Escobar didn’t charge Dustin Pedroia’s grounder in the ninth and bounced a throw to second that Gordon Beckham had to scoop out of the dirt.
Youkilis meanwhile, was looking forward to this weekend’s series after four days of scrutiny against the team for which he played 8 1/2 seasons.
“It’s a learning experience to see teams you’re facing in your division and the opponents you have to beat,” said Youkilis, a veteran of many AL East showdowns against the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. “It’s a different realm.
“And now it’s the (AL) Central and facing Detroit and Cleveland and the other teams — mainly those two at the top you have to beat every time.”