SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. --- Jose Quintana’s sterling effort Sunday can have positive effects on the pitcher’s season on several fronts.
After he struggled in his past two outings and his March 8 start was cut short by a line drive off the shin, Quintana finally put up a string of zeroes as the White Sox and Colorado Rockies tied 5-5 at Salt River Fields. Quintana allowed one hit over five scoreless innings and struck out two. He lowered his spring ERA from 30.00 to 16.36 in the process.
Catcher Tyler Flowers said the chance to work with Quintana on several aspects necessary to successfully navigate lineups in regular season play was the biggest takeaway.
“We were able to do a lot of things that before we didn’t have a chance to do because we had a hard time getting ahead,” Flowers said. “We were able to execute some curveballs in the dirt, fastballs up and in, throw a few more cutters in there, getting a good feel for that again. I think it was a great day for him especially leading up to the season.”
Quintana’s previous start lasted nine batters, none of whom he retired and all of whom scored. Before Sunday, Quintana had six innings pitched. But he and pitching coach Don Cooper made several minor adjustments in the bullpen and Quintana was able to get into a nice rhythm against the Rockies.
Quintana said Cooper stressed he get more extension on his pitches and work at a lower angle after he was nearly over the top in his previous start against Oakland.
“I feel really good today,” Quintana said. “I was working with all my pitches to both sides. “Keep the ball down, you know. I think working with more ground balls, changeup was working good. Continue my working and keep the ball down now and I’m ready for the season.”
Flowers said he didn’t see much difference on the life of Quintana’s pitches on Sunday.
The biggest change was location. It should have Quintana feeling good headed into the season, Flowers added.
“He was hitting his spots a little bit better and the misses were in the appropriate spots,” Flowers said. “You need to have some success though to get that confidence going into the season. He should be full of it today.”
-- Conor Gillaspie, Alejandro De Aza and Blake Tekotte all went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Tekotte also drove in a run. Gillaspie is hitting .295 this spring after he doubled twice.
-- Adam Eaton went 1-for-3 with a walk and stole a base. The play at second on the stolen base was close enough for Colorado manager Walt Weiss to call for a review and even though replays appeared to show Eaton out the call was confirmed. The replay took 1 minute, 7 seconds.
-- Nate Jones walked three batters in 1/3 innings on Sunday and was credited with a blown save after he allowed three runs (two earned). Shortstop Marcus Semien had two errors on the same play that allowed the tying run to score.
-- Relievers Daniel Webb and Matt Lindstrom each allowed a run in one inning Sunday.