MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Even in a ballpark where the Chicago White Sox have had success, the story was agonizingly familiar for left-hander Jose Quintana.
Once again Quintana pitched well, holding the Minnesota Twins to two runs and six hits in seven innings. And once again, his efforts were for naught due to a dearth of run support.
Joe Mauer drove in two runs, including the go-ahead double in the eighth inning against reliever Jake Petricka, to push the Twins past the White Sox 4-2 on Thursday night. Chicago fell to 18-9 all-time at Target Field, which opened in 2010.
Quintana has had another solid season for the White Sox, his third but he is winless in four starts this month.
“You don’t have to say anything to him,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said after Quintana struck out six and walked one. “He’s just as frustrated as anybody else. He just continues to pitch. I don’t think he sits there and begs for runs, but I’m sure he’d like some runs.”
After rain delayed the first pitch by 2 hours and 6 minutes, the Twins stopped their season-high, five-game losing streak. Mauer, in the middle of the worst season of his six-time All-Star career, also hit a tying single in the third. After 18 games without an RBI, Mauer has three in three days.
Petricka (0-2) pitching with runners at the corners and no outs, Mauer hooked a drive down the left-field line. Kurt Suzuki tacked on a sacrifice fly.
Glen Perkins tossed a scoreless ninth for his 18th save in 20 tries. A bad back kept him from pitching Wednesday in Boston.
Casey Fien (4-4), who subbed as the closer Wednesday and gave up two homers in the 10th inning in a 2-1 loss to the Red Sox, returned to the eighth-inning role and earned the victory that really belonged to Yohan Pino.
Pino at age 30 became the oldest Twins player to make his major league debut, holding the White Sox to two runs in seven innings. Those two runs kept with an all-too-similar script for the Chicago starter.
“I say the same every time, I don’t have control about that,” Qunintana said of run support. “But one time that can change for me. But tonight I feel bad for my team not winning. Just keep going next win. The most important thing for the team is the win. If you throw a good game but your team doesn’t win, it’s not good because it’s for the team, not for you.”
Josh Willingham’s home run in the second, the first time in 10 starts that Jose Quintana surrendered a long ball, gave Pino a brief lead. But after a walk by Gordon Beckham loaded the bases in the third, Connor Gillaspie smacked a two-run single into center field.
Gillaspie said an unknown pitcher like Pino has a distinct advantage when there’s no book on him to be had.
“We didn’t know anything about the guy,” Gillaspie said. “Give him credit, he pitched pretty well. Anybody that’s got a changeup has got an advantage. He did a good job today. We’ll have to get them tomorrow. It was a long day.”
Over the last nine games, Twins starters have a 2.41 ERA. Pino struck out seven and allowed five hits and one walk.
Pino struck out Jose Abreu the first two times he faced the rookie slugger. Abreu became the third-fastest to reach 20 home runs when he went deep Wednesday against San Francisco in his 58th career game.
Home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski took a hard foul tip off the bottom of his mask in the fourth. He finished the inning after being checked on by Twins trainer Dave Pruemer but was replaced for the fifth inning by crew chief Mark Wegner. A three-man group was used for the rest of the game.
NOTES: Willingham has six homers in 24 games since returning from his rehab assignment for a broken wrist, but he entered the night in a 1-for-19 slide. … The Twins will send Ricky Nolasco (4-5, 5.66 ERA) to the mound on Friday, and Hector Noesi (2-5, 5.37 ERA) will pitch for the White Sox. … The White Sox announced their June 10 rainout against Detroit will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on Aug. 30.