Sox come alive in pummeling of O's

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Sox come alive in pummeling of O's

CHICAGO (AP) First-year manager Robin Ventura has preached patience when asked about slumping slugger Adam Dunn. Same for scuffling second baseman Gordon Beckham.That steady hand paid off Wednesday night.Dunn lined a three-run double, A.J. Pierzynski homered and the Chicago White Sox snapped a three-game slide with an 8-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles."Early in the season, it can change so quick," Dunn said. "I've started off slow before and everything, but it's a lot different than it was last year because I feel good."Dunn was jeered by the crowd of 13,818 when he swung and missed for his 19th strikeout in the first inning, dropping his average to .175. But the designated hitter walked and scored in the third, walked again in the fifth and put together one of his best plate appearances with the White Sox during Chicago's four-run sixth.Dunn, who signed a 56 million, four-year contract before the 2011 season, sent a full-count pitch from Troy Patton into the left-field corner with two out, driving in Alexei Ramirez, Beckham and Alejandro De Aza to make it 8-1."Really just trying not to pull the ball," said Dunn, who was 0 for 15 against left-handers this season before the opposite-field hit. "I think that's where I get myself in trouble a lot is I try to pull the ball more than I probably should.
"I had no clue what he was going to throw me. Just tried to throw the bat out there and it worked."Jake Peavy pitched seven sparkling innings and De Aza also went deep for the White Sox, who tied a season high with 11 hits. Dunn also walked in the ninth and Beckham hit an RBI single in the sixth to stop a 0-for-14 slump."Just a great team effort," Peavy said. "The boys swung the bats and we needed tonight after a few tough ones."Endy Chavez had a run-scoring double for the Orioles, who had won four of five. Tommy Hunter (1-1) matched a career high with eight strikeouts, but was charged with eight runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings."I felt good in the first inning and lost it," Hunter said. "I was up in the zone, ball didn't get down. I just didn't make an adjustment. I can honestly say that. I did not make an adjustment."Chavez snapped a 0-for-12 slide with his hit in the second, but that was it for Baltimore. Nolan Reimold went 1 for 4 with a single, ending a string of four consecutive games with a homer.Peavy (2-0) allowed four hits, struck out eight and walked none in his longest outing since he pitched eight shutout innings at Minnesota on August 7. Finally healthy again, the right-hander has pitched at least six innings in each of his three outings this year."Everything gets so magnified because of the way Peavy was pitching, you know runs are going to be at a real premium," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said, "and you can't let them get too far away from you because he's not gonna give up a whole lot when he's commanding the changeup and doing the things he does with the baseball."Pierzynski connected in the second inning, sending a two-run shot to right that barely cleared the wall and was just inside the foul pole. He also singled in the third and is batting .481 (13 for 27) in his past seven games.Alex Rios drove in Dunn with a sacrifice fly in the third, making it 3-1, and De Aza added a solo drive to right-center in the fourth for his third homer.NOTES: Chicago's Kosuke Fukudome made his first start of the season in left field and his third start overall. "It's a good time to get him in there and get him some at-bats," Ventura said. Dayan Viciedo rested and Ventura said he would be back in the lineup Thursday afternoon. Ventura also said utilityman Brent Lillibridge could start the finale of the four-game series. ... Nick Markakis served as Baltimore's designated hitter and Chavez got the start in right field. Markakis went 1 for 4 and is stuck in a 4-for-39 rut. "Everybody here is gonna have periods where they're not as good as they're capable of being," Showalter said. "If that's our biggest issue this year, we're in real good shape." ... Orioles RHP Jason Hammel (1-0) is scheduled to face RHP Gavin Floyd (1-1) on Thursday afternoon. Floyd is 4-2 with a 3.56 ERA in seven career starts against Baltimore. Hammel is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in six career appearances against the White Sox.

Preview: Carlos Rodon, White Sox open final series of season vs. Twins on CSN+

Preview: Carlos Rodon, White Sox open final series of season vs. Twins on CSN+

The White Sox open their final series of the season tonight, and you can catch all the action on CSN+. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight’s starting pitching matchup: Carlos Rodon (8-10, 4.08 ERA) vs. Tyler Duffey (9-11, 6.18 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.

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White Sox five-game winning streak snapped with loss to Rays

White Sox five-game winning streak snapped with loss to Rays

The playoffs were the ultimate goal and he probably would have liked another victory on Thursday night.

But Jose Quintana has plenty to be proud about when he takes stock of his 2016 campaign, which ended with a 5-3 White Sox loss to the Tampa Rays in front of 14,792 at U.S. Cellular Field. The first-time All-Star’s record dropped to 13-12 after he allowed two earned runs in six innings in his final start, but not before Quintana established career highs for innings pitched, strikeouts and earned-run average. The loss guaranteed a fourth straight losing season for the White Sox, who haven’t reached the postseason since 2008.

“I’m happy with my year,” Quintana said. “But every time I say it’s not about me. It’s about the team. We’ll try to finish strong in the next series against the Twins and come back next year to have a better year than this one.”

Quintana had the best individual season of his career. If he’d received any kind of run support from his teammates, he’d be at or near the top of the leaders for wins, too.

But same as he has for the past four seasons, Quintana didn’t receive any run support yet again on Thursday, though this time can be attributed to a stellar performance by Chris Archer.

Archer held down early an offense that had Quintana ranked 116th out of 132 qualified starting pitchers in run support. The White Sox only had two runners reach scoring position in the time Quintana pitched (one scored). By the time Archer slowed down, the White Sox bullpen allowed three runs and the contest was nearly out of reach at 5-1.

Still, Quintana was good enough to win yet again in a season full of comparable efforts.

He allowed a run in the second inning on a bloop RBI single by Alexei Ramirez and another in the fourth on a solo homer by Mikie Mahtook. Other than that he was his normal efficient self, striking out seven and limiting the Rays to two runs and five hits in six innings.

The effort lowered Quintana’s ERA to 3.20 (his previous low was 3.32 in 2014). He also surpassed his previous high-inning mark of 206 1/3 with 208 this season. And, Quintana, who eclipsed the 10-win mark for the first time in his career, finished with 181 strikeouts, three more than he in 2014.

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White Sox manager Robin Ventura thinks the overall production was a byproduct of the first All-Star nod for Quintana, who surpassed 200 innings for a fourth straight season.

“You wouldn’t think that would mean a lot, but it really does,” Ventura said. “I think that’s the stuff that can catapult somebody into things that are better and pushing him into the offseason, the optimistic stuff of going into next year.”

Quintana’s name often surfaces as an easy fix to some of the White Sox’ woes when it comes to next season.

With two guaranteed seasons and two club-friendly options left on his current contract, Quintana — who entered Thursday valued at 19.7 f-WAR for his career — is viewed as a stellar trade chip given the weak free agent class. It is believed the White Sox could solve several problem areas on the roster or add considerable depth to their farm system were they to make Quintana or Chris Sale available. Quintana knows the possibility exists but hopes he’s back with the White Sox next season and helping them end their postseason drought.

“I don’t have control about that,” Quintana said. “I don’t know nothing about trades. I’m here as a Chicago White Sox, and I want to be here for a long time. I’ll go home, rest and am going to be ready to start with my preparation for next year. I’ll be ready for that, but I don’t have control about trades.”