Adam Eaton did his job in his return to the White Sox on Tuesday night.
He provided the spark the offense needed but a 10th-inning Zach Walters’ blast off Jacob Petricka gave the White Sox their seventh straight loss in an 8-6 extra-inning defeat to the Indians on Tuesday.
White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana got off to a rough start, giving up three runs in the first inning behind RBI hits from Carlos Santana and Mike Aviles along with a RBI groundout from Jason Kipnis.
“He has a little bit of an issue getting out of the first couple of innings,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “If he’s ever had anything, it’s starting the game and getting into it. I don’t think he’s out of gas. He’s had some issues with that and he’s battled through it after that.”
The White Sox responded in the bottom of the first with two runs of their own behind the bat of Avisail Garcia. The outfielder now has 9 RBI since his return from the disabled list on August 16.
Ventura was happy to see the fight in his team as they came back immediately following Quintana’s tough first inning.
“You fall back that early and you fight your way back a couple times and get ahead,” Ventura said. “They keep fighting offensively. Even though we haven’t scored many runs lately, they’ve been scratching and clawing and finding their way back."
After the Indians padded their lead in the second, an RBI single from Eaton followed by a two-run home run from Alexei Ramirez in the fourth inning gave the White Sox a 5-4 lead.
But in the next frame, Eaton misplayed a line drive single from Roberto Perez, allowing the ball to go all the way to the wall and two runners to score.
Ramirez later drove in his third run of the night with an RBI groundout off Indians reliever Scott Atchison in the 7th to tie the game at 6.
Quintana finished the game after five-plus innings, giving up six earned runs and nine hits while striking out three. The left-hander knew the high pitch count wasn’t ideal and wished he could’ve helped his team more after the rare run support he received.
“I felt really good tonight,” Quintana said. “I think a lot of pitches in the first inning was the reason why I got out early in the game. I tried to close the game and get the win for the team but I felt a little upset with myself because I got pretty good support tonight.”
The White Sox bullpen held the tie for four innings against the Indians after Quintana left thanks to solid performances from Javy Guerra and Zach Putnam. It was Guerra’s sixth consecutive scoreless appearance while Putnam has yet to allow a run since returning from the disabled list on August 8.
Petricka, however, couldn’t continue the trend.
It was the second game in a row in which Petricka has given up a 10th-inning home run. Ventura said it’s more of a command issue than it is fatigue.
“I think it’s location,” Ventura said. “He has everything velocity wise and the stuff, he’s been a bit erratic. When he was going well, he was pounding the zone, getting ahead early, being able to use his off-speed stuff. When you’re not around the zone, you got to lay it in there. When guys at this level have a hitters’ count and you throw a fastball, it doesn’t matter how hard he throws.”