LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Chicago White Sox have committed the second-most errors in the American League, and Monday night was another dreadful performance by the defense – ruining a solid outing by Jose Quintana in his duel with Clayton Kershaw.
Second baseman Gordon Beckham committed the first of his two fielding miscues during a five-run sixth inning by the Los Angeles Dodgers. A two-out throwing error by Conor Gillaspie made all them unearned, and the White Sox left Chavez Ravine red-faced with a 5-3 loss.
“It just wasn’t a good day of defense,” manager Robin Ventura said. “Q pitched a great game, going inning-for-inning with Kershaw, and he deserved a better fate. There’s no two ways about it. But when you don’t play defense, and give a team like that opportunities, you leave that little crack in the door. And they kicked it wide open.”
Kershaw led off the fateful sixth with a single and Matt Kemp reached on one-out grounder that went under Beckham’s glove for an error with the infield overshifted to the left side.
Yasiel Puig struck out on a high fastball and slammed his bat in frustration, but the Dodgers got a break when Gillaspie fielded Hanley Ramirez’s grounder behind third and bounced his throw past first base as Kershaw scored.
“They gave us a few extra outs and we took advantage of it,” Kershaw said. “It’s always fun to get hits, and it’s always fun when you’re part of the run scoring. We needed this – to put something together there in the sixth. Sometimes with us, it takes a couple times to get through the lineup. I knew if I just kind of kept us in the game, gave us a chance, we were going to break out.”
Adrian Gonzalez drove in Kemp with an infield hit, and Quintana gave up a two-run single to Justin Turner and an RBI single to Drew Butera after a walk to Scott Van Slyke.
“That’s how you win games. You take advantage of one little mistake, and a lot of times it ends up rolling into a big inning,” Van Slyke said. “Good teams do that. When they get the opportunity, they take advantage.”
Quintana (3-5) gave up six hits through six innings and was charged with all five unearned runs, while his ERA dropped from 3.61 to 3.31.
“When you look at him on video, his ball looks straight. Then you get in the box and it kind of zips,” Van Slyke said. “His changeup goes down and his slider’s decent, so I can see why he gets guys out.”
All 25 runs Quintana allowed in his previous 10 starts were earned, following a no-decision in his season debut in which three of the five runs against the left-hander were unearned.
“I pitched really good, but sometimes I don’t have control of situation,” Quintana said. “I just kept focusing on the next batter. I lost a good chance I had to win this game, but that’s baseball. Maybe next time the guys will make good plays for me.”
Kershaw (4-2) shrugged off a two-run homer by Jose Abreu in the rookie’s return from the disabled list, allowing just three other hits over eight innings, while striking out nine and walking none.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner needed only 12 pitches to get through the first two innings and retired his first 10 batters before Beckham singled and Abreu followed with his 16th homer. The Cuban slugger was leading the majors in homers and ranked second in RBIs with 42 before missing 14 games with tendinitis in his left ankle. The White Sox were 8-6 in his absence.
“It was nice, coming against a guy like Kershaw,” Ventura said. “It didn’t seem like he missed too much of a beat. When we have that guy swinging the bat good, we’re a better offense.”
The only other baserunner the White Sox had against Kershaw through the first six innings was Moises Sierra, who hit a dribbler to the right of the mound and beat Kershaw’s throw to first base with two outs in the fifth.
NOTES: Abreu set major league rookie records for homers (10), RBIs (32), extra-base hits (19) and total bases (71) in April and was named AL rookie of the month. … Beckham’s second error was in the seventh, when he booted a routine grounder by Puig. … Ventura gave 1B-DH Adam Dunn the night off even though he is 8 for 13 against Kershaw with four home runs. … Quintana has not allowed a home run in 43 1-3 innings over his last seven starts, after giving up one in each of his previous four outings.