Jose Quintana received a gift from the offense in the form of a Tyler Flowers three-run homer, and unlike Chris Sale, Gavin Floyd and Dylan Axelrod before him, he didn't give it back immediately, or at all. Instead, he threw 6⅔ scoreless innings while the offense tacked on runs, resulting in the first easy victory of the season. Now they're one win over R.A. Dickey away from turning a disastrous road trip into a tolerable one.
The Sox made square contact off J.A. Happ from the get-go, and it finally started working out after he retired the first two batters in the second. Dayan Viciedo went the other way for a double, and Happ pitched carefully to Alexei Ramirez, resulting in a walk.
That brought the struggling Flowers to the plate. He took a changeup down, then fouled off a fastball to even the count. Happ stayed with the heat on the third pitch, and Flowers got on it and sent a no-doubter over the right-center wall to give the Sox a 3-0 lead.
Quintana only had to defuse one major threat from that point on. In the third, he gave up two two-out singles to bring Sox-killer Melky Cabrera to the plate. He got ahead 1-2, and after Cabrera fought off a slider, Quintana went back to the fastball. Cabrera fouled off one, but swung through the other, and the Blue Jays never brought the tying run to the plate again.
Quintana allowed just five hits and two walks over 6⅔ innings while striking out seven. Four of those strikeouts victimized Brett Lawrie and Colby Ramus, and they didn't have any better luck against Jesse Crain or Donnie Veal. They combined to go 0-for-8 with seven strikeouts.
The Sox, on the other hand, did a nice job of cashing in their scoring opportunities. In the fourth, when Adam Dunn and Viciedo struck out after a Paul Konerko double, Alexei Ramirez came through with a double over Rasmus' head in center. In the seventh, they loaded the bases with three singles, and two sac flies gave the Sox another crooked number. All in all, they went 3-for-7 with just five stranded, which is a pretty good clip.
And in between, Alex Rios continued to hammer the ball, leading off the sixth inning with a solo homer to the power alley in left. his fifth homer of the year.