The Chicago White Sox expected Jose Quintana to make a couple of spot starts while filling in for the injured John Danks, not the solid addition he's been to the AL Central leaders' rotation.
You won't hear manager Robin Ventura complaining, though.
Quintana will look to help Chicago win consecutive games for the first time in more than two weeks as he takes the hill against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the series finale Sunday at Chavez Ravine.
The left-hander made his major league debut as a reliever May 7, and he's been stellar ever since. His lone defeat came after he allowed two runs in six innings of a 4-0 loss to Toronto on June 6, though he bounced back to give up one run in 5 1-3 innings of Tuesday's 6-1 win at St. Louis.
Quintana (2-1, 1.98 ERA) initially entered the rotation as a replacement for Danks - who is still sidelined with left shoulder soreness - and he's made the most of his opportunity.
''He's proven he can pitch (in the majors)," Ventura said. "When he goes out there and does what he's doing right now, he's making a strong case for staying around.''
The White Sox (35-30) may be fortunate to still be in first place during a rough stretch. They beat the Dodgers 5-4 on Saturday for their fifth win in 13 games since winning nine straight from May 23-June 1.
Alex Rios, hitting .369 over his last 16 games, went 2 for 4 with an RBI triple. Alexei Ramirez had a two-run single in the second inning and is 4 for 7 in this series after going 0 for 10 in his previous three contests.
Chicago had a four-run lead before the Dodgers tied the game, one night after falling 7-6 as the Dodgers overcame a four-run deficit.
"We don't think about the games we'd just lost," said Paul Konerko, hitting an AL-best .359. "We've got pretty short memories, and we show up the same way every day, ready to play - whether we won big yesterday or whether we lost a real rough one. So that's a good sigh with this club.''
The major league-best Dodgers (41-25) have split their last eight games since a four-game winning streak and couldn't complete a second consecutive comeback Saturday.
Los Angeles will send a surprising left-hander of its own to the mound Sunday looking to bounce back.
Chris Capuano (8-2, 2.87) hasn't had a winning record since going 18-12 for Milwaukee in 2005, but he's been a solid addition to the Dodgers' staff.
Though Capuano's overall performance this season has been excellent, he's struggled of late. He went 7-1 with a 2.14 ERA through his first 10 starts before going 1-1 while posting a 5.87 ERA in his three June outings.
The veteran allowed two runs and eight hits in five innings without earning a decision in Monday's 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
"The last two games and the first three innings (Monday), I've been having a lot of problems with command walking guys," Capuano said.
The White Sox have gone 12-5 against the Dodgers since their first regular-season meeting in 2003.