CLEVELAND — The White Sox are doing their part to make sure they don’t see a celebration this weekend.
Jose Quintana rebounded from a rough start and six players drove in runs as the White Sox snapped a six-game losing streak with a 8-1 victory over the first-place Cleveland Indians in front of 32,088 at Progressive Field. With their magic number at two, the Indians can now only clinch the American League Central with a win on Sunday and a loss by the Detroit Tigers.
Quintana (13-11) allowed a run over six innings to sew up only his second winning record in five seasons as a starter.
The White Sox offense got going early in support of Quintana, who improved his career mark to 46-45.
Melky Cabrera doubled in Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu singled Cabrera in as the White Sox took a 2-0 lead on Cody Anderson, one of eight Indians pitchers. Cabrera’s two-out RBI single in the fifth inning extended the White Sox lead to 3-1 and Todd Frazier belted a solo homer in the sixth to make it a three-run lead.
Avisail Garcia, Carlos Sanchez and Leury Garcia all had RBI singles during a four-run eighth inning.
Quintana didn’t look like he could buy an out in the early going as he struggled with command. He walked two batters in the first inning to load the bases and needed a hard-hit double play ball off Carlos Santana’s bat to escape unscathed.
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An inning later, Quintana gave up a pair of singles and walked Coco Crisp to load the bases again, this time with no outs. After a strike out of Roberto Perez, Quintana was aided when Crisp overran second base on an RBI single by Rajai Davis that got Cleveland within 2-1. But Quintana retired Jason Kipnis to avoid further damage and found a rhythm.
Whereas Quintana looked vulnerable in the first two innings, he looked infallible over his final four.
Facing the heart of Cleveland’s order in the third, Quintana induced three straight pop outs, which became a theme the rest of the way. Quintana pitched around a one-out double in the fourth inning and retired the side in order in the fifth, including two pop outs. He also got three more weakly hit pop outs in the sixth inning and retired 12 of the last 14 he he faced.
Quintana allowed a run and six hits with three walks in six innings.