The White Sox looked to close out their series with the Red Sox with a split. They were well on their way to doing that behind the stellar pitching of Jose Quintana, but that all went to waste in the ninth inning, as the Red Sox beat the White Sox 3-1.
Quintana was spectacular tonight. He pitched eight solid innings, giving up just five hits. He had excellent control and was dominating the Red Sox hitters. But by the ninth inning, things happened. Matt Thornton gave up two hits as his defense let him down a bit. He pitched a third of an inning before being replaced by Addison Reed. He threw three pitches to Cody Ross, and the third was a three-run walk off home run. Another stellar Quintana start wasted.
The offense performed better than yesterday, but it wasn’t enough tonight. Alex Rios batted in the only run in the fourth with a sac fly that scored Adam Dunn. Dunn, Rios, and Eduardo Escobar were the only starters without a hit, but Dunn was able to get on base via a walk. Alexei Ramirez and Paul Konerko were each able to pick up two hits, but the offense was unable to do anything with them.
The Sox head to Detroit for an incredibly critical series against the Tigers. With a loss tonight and the Tigers’ win this afternoon, the Sox hold a slim 1.5-game lead over the Tigers. If the Sox want to keep a hold on first place, they need to play like they want it.
Tomorrow night, Jake Peavy squares off against Justin Verlander. This is the first time the Sox are seeing Verlander this season. Verlander has won five of his past six starts, but he did falter a bit during the All-Star Game. Sox fans are hoping for a repeat of that game. Peavy hit 120 pitches for the third time this season in his last start, a loss to the Royals.