CHICAGO -- A combination of good pitching and just enough offense helped the Chicago White Sox snap their four-game losing streak.
Starter Jose Quintana extended his scoreless streak to 18 2/3 innings before giving way to the bullpen in the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians. Quintana allowed one run in the inning before manager Robin Ventura went to Nate Jones with runners on the corners and nobody out.
Jones gave up a sacrifice fly, but he and his bullpen mates were flawless the rest of the way. The relievers pitched four shutout innings to preserve the win for Quintana and break the losing skid.
Although the White Sox continue to struggle to score runs, the bullpen returned to form after three shaky appearances.
“Even though we lost a couple games late, you still believe in the bullpen and what they do,” Ventura said. “They have to have tough minds to be in the bullpen. You have to come in tough situations and get through it.
“We have confidence in those guys, even when you are a run down or a run up to keep you in the game and win the game.”
The Sox pen leads the American League with a .188 batting average against them and ranks second with a 2.26 ERA. Excellent numbers despite the rough patch they had gone through recently.
“We don’t worry about what anyone says,” said closer Addison Reed, who converted his sixth consecutive save chance on Wednesday. “Whatever they say good or bad is not going to make us pitch any better or worse.
“We are always ready to go when our name is called.”
Close games have been the theme of the early going for the White Sox, as 18 of their 20 games have been decided by three or fewer runs. Chicago is 5-6 in one-run games.
“It is not an easy thing to do when you play games this close,” said Alex Rios, whose two-run home run in the fifth proved to be the game winner.
“You have to battle through those things,” he said. “It is a long season and we are going to go through stretches like this. This is how teams show how good they are. You must learn to adapt to situations; we think have the talent to be just fine.”