The return of Alex Rodriguez loomed over the proceedings at U.S. Cellular Field, but the White Sox had all the runs needed to end their 10-game losing streak before he even came to the plate. In fact, the way it played out, it was like the baseball gods weren't quite ready to see him hit.
The first inning ended with Dayan Viciedo gunning down Robinson Cano on an ill-fated attempt to stretch a single to a double. That left Rodriguez in the on-deck circle, and he finally got his turn, the White Sox led 3-0. They greeted Andy Pettitte with four consecutive singles for a one-run lead. Adam Dunn made it 2-0 when his grand slam bid came up five feet short, and Gordon Beckham added another run with a soft single to center.
Outside of Alexei Ramirez's leadoff hit, Pettitte suffered bad luck more than anything else. The other four singles were soft and just out of reach, and given the quality of contact, it could've been a scoreless game.
But he couldn't say that for long, because the line drives arrived in the second. Jeff Keppinger's laced double to the left field corner put runners on second and third for Alex Rios, who shot a single to center to score both runs, stretching the lead to 5-0.
Pettitte didn't escape the third. He gave up three more singles (including a run-scoring base hit by Ramirez), and then issued a two-out walk that ended his night. In came pitching magnate Preson Claiborne, who walked in a run by issuing a free pass to Rios, adding to Pettitte's misery. The venerable Yankee left-handed gave up seven runs on 11 hits over 2⅔ innings, and now there's this fun fact:
That's the first time in his 511 career starts that Pettitte has given up 11 or more hits in fewer than 3 innings.— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) August 6, 2013
Jose Quintana didn't have any of those problems on the other end. He gave up a bloop single to Rodriguez when A-Rod finally came to the plate in the second inning, and Vernon Wells doubled him to third, putting Quintana in danger of giving back at least some of the rare lead his offense provided him.
Not so fast. Quintana got Curtis Granderon to fly out to shallow center, followed that up with an infield fly by Ichiro Suzuki, and then pumped a high fastball past Eduardo Nunez to escape unscored upon.
Quintana cruised after that. He pitched 6⅔ innings of one-run ball, scattering eight hits and one walk while striking out five. He lost the shutout bid in his final inning of work by giving up a sac fly to the last batter he faced (Brett Gardner), but his sixth victory was never in question after the second inning.
As for Rodriguez, he went 1-for-4 with two medium-deep flyouts and a backwards K in his final at-bat, as Matt Lindstrom buckled his knees on a 3-2 slider to end his night.
- Viciedo left the game after his outfield assist. He couldn't come up with Cano's liner on his diving attempt, but even though he jammed his thumb on the play, he regrouped in time to get the out at second.
- Except for Viciedo, who never batted, all Sox starters reached base at least once. The top of the order was especially productive. Ramirez had four hits out of the leadoff spot, second-hitting Keppinger singled, doubled and walked, Rios singled twice and walked once, and Dunn drew three walks.
- The Sox had 23 baserunners (12 singles, two doubles, nine walks), and went 5-for-16 with runners in scoring position after going 0-for-1 the day before.
- The last White Sox pitcher to record a victory was Jake Peavy on July 25, so at least somebody on the team has won a game in recent memory.