CLEVELAND -- On a chilly April night, with his entire left arm wrapped in ice, Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana stood outside of his locker and with a deep sigh of relief, he smiled and said: "I'm back, I'm back."
Coming off a four-inning start in his first start against the Seattle Mariners in which he gave up six runs, Quintana took to the mound on Friday night aided by an extra day of rest trying to give his bullpen some much-needed rest.
Quintana delivered -- even if the Sox bats did not in a 1-0 loss to Justin Masterson -- with seven shutout, one-hit innings.
"I threw my pitches well," Quintana said through the help of an interpreter. "My fastball was there today and it allowed be to have a better game."
Of his 98 pitches, 60 were for strikes. Quintana located several variations of his fastball, keeping Indians batters guessing, with their only hit a double from left fielder Michael Brantley in the second inning. With Brantley on second base and two outs, Quintana quickly dismissed any chance of Cleveland scoring by striking out catcher Yan Gomes.
"He was good," the Indians' Nick Swisher said of Quintana. "It felt like it was 15 degrees out there. The way Quintana went out there and pitched, you have to tip your hat. We had three hits all night and only one was off of him. He's got a lot of weapons and really kept his demeanor on the mound. You have to give him credit for that."
With seven innings in the books and Quintana's pitch count nearing 100, White Sox manager Robin Ventura opted to let his bullpen take over, sending Matt Thornton out for the eighth inning. Thornton completed a perfect frame against the bottom of the Tribe's lineup, but Jesse Crain fell victim to their newly revamped top. A bloop double by Michael Bourn set the table for Swisher, whose line drive down the right field line drove in Bourn with the winning run.
Ventura was pleased with Quintana's aggressiveness and control, but opted to go to the bullpen after seven innings.
"Not this early," said Ventura of Quintana potentially pitching into the eighth inning. "He was getting up there with some pitches. We want him to be around for a while."
Quintana agreed with Ventura's decision.
"You always want to stay in the game," Quintana said. "But the decision of (Ventura) was a good one. It's a team game. I totally support his decision.
"Today's game was a tough one. The teams played well. We haven't done the things we need to win the games, but it's early. We'll keep going."