MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—After 10 straight fastballs with the home crowd cheering and the bases loaded behind him, Jose Quintana threw an 80-mph curveball to freeze Ryan Doumit.
Home plate umpire Bill Miller called strike three, the crowd groaned loudly and Quintana calmly went back to the Chicago White Sox dugout.
After that, Quintana made it look easy the rest of the way, Adam Dunn and Jeff Keppinger both homered and Chicago beat the Minnesota Twins 5-2 on Friday night to snap its 10-game road losing streak.
It was a far cry from Quintana’s last start - a five-run, five-inning outing Sunday against the Twins in Chicago.
”The only thing (I) did was try to attack early,” Quintana said through a translator. ”(I) tried to come in and attack earlier, throw strikes to every single one of the batters, and thankfully everything worked out. (I) was able to get them back.”
Quintana (7-4) scattered six hits over 6 2-3 innings, giving up two runs and striking out seven.
Joe Mauer homered in the first for Minnesota, but Keppinger and Dunn both hit solo shots off Twins starter Kevin Correia (8-9) in the third to make it 4-1.
”They got us pretty good at home,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. ”We haven’t had too many of those where we’ve hit them like that. It was nice.”
A night after watching the Twins win by a run in walk-off fashion, the White Sox and Quintana looked to be in for yet another rough outing when Mauer lined a 3-2 offering into the right-field seats to put Minnesota up 1-0. Mauer also had homered off Quintana on Sunday. And considering Quintana’s 4.21 run support average coming in, the 15th-lowest in the AL this season, things didn’t look very promising.
But Dayan Viciedo put Chicago up with a two-RBI single in the second before Keppinger and Dunn added all the insurance runs Quintana needed.
”Their guy threw the ball really well,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ”It was coming out of his hand really nice. He mixes pitches well. The guys were saying he’s very deceptive and has a little jump on his fastball.”
Quintana set the Twins down in order three times. But his biggest test came in the third when the Twins loaded the bases with two outs in the third and Doumit came to the plate.
”Seems like it lasted what a normal inning would last,” Ventura said. ”He just kind of gutted it out and went extra-long for us tonight.”
Quintana is 3-0 on the road this season.
Correia pitched well aside from the third inning, retiring 12 of the 14 batters he faced after Dunn’s homer.
”I felt like my stuff was good,” Correia said. ”I think that’s just how baseball is sometimes. Sometimes they hit it to people, sometimes they miss a mistake. The second time around, they’re usually not going to miss any many mistakes.”
Minnesota added a run in the seventh when Brian Dozier drove in Wilkin Ramirez on a two-out single to chase Quintana. Reliever Donnie Veal walked Mauer but struck out Justin Morneau to end the inning. Chicago made it 5-2 in the eighth when Trevor Plouffe’s bad throw from third hit Paul Konerko, allowing Keppinger to score.
Nate Jones pitched a scoreless eighth and Addison Reed worked the ninth for his 29th save in 34 chances.
Notes: Chicago INF Gordon Beckham was held out of the starting lineup after leaving Thursday night’s game with a strained right quadriceps. But he entered the game at second in the eighth. … White Sox 3B Conor Gillaspie left with a bruised left hand and is day to day. … The Twins activated Doumit from the DL before the game. Doumit missed eight games after leaving Minnesota’s game Aug. 7 at Kansas City with concussion-like symptoms. The Twins optioned IF Chris Colabello to Triple-A Rochester to make room for Doumit on the roster. … Viciedo returned to the lineup after missing six straight games with a sore left thumb. … The teams will play the third of their four-game series Saturday when Chicago’s Chris Sale (8-11) takes the mound opposite Minnesota’s Andrew Albers (2-0).