For the sixth time in his career, Jose Quintana pitched at least seven scoreless innings.
After tonight, he is 0-0 with six no-decisions in those games.
Quintana overcame a 33-pitch first inning -- stranding the bases loaded in the process -- to need just 114 for seven. His night became progressively easier after the early crunch, but he still had enough in the tank to work his way out of one last jam to end his night.
Omar Infante started the seventh with a double and moved to third on Alex Avila's grounder to second. With the game on the line, Quintana answered the call -- even if he made it a little tougher than he needed to.
He made it look easy when he worked over Jose Iglesias for a high-fastball strikeout. He tried the same thing with Austin Jackson after getting ahead 0-2, but he came inside and clipped his jersey to put runners on the corner. That brought Torii Hunter to the plate, and Quintana busted him inside relentlessly. The fifth one induced a weak chopper over the head of Quintana, but Leury Garcia made one of a few nice plays on the night to end the threat. When the Sox answered the Tigers' scoreless inning with one of their own, it locked in Quintana's 17th no-decision of the season in 30 starts.
The Tigers scored the next inning, saddling Matt Lindstrom with the loss thanks to Infante's seeing-eye single through the left side with two outs. That scored Prince Fielder, who had reached on his own seeing-eye single. Lindstrom made some decent pitches, but the Tigers found a way to scratch one out. It happens. Nevertheless, the pitching has nothing to be embarrassed about, seeing as though it held Detroit to one hit in 13 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Quintana and Co. just didn't get any support from the offense, and you'd think it's because kids comprised the 8-9-1-2 part of the order. Then you look at the box score.
The most veteran players were painful in their own ways. Ramirez had the best day of the bunch from an on-base perspective (0-for-3, one walk), but he stranded a team-high seven runners. Konerko went 0-for-4 with just two strikeouts while Dunn wore the golden sombrero, but Konerko also grounded into a double play, so he made more outs.
The former two killed the Sox's last best chance to score in the eighth. With one out, Danks reached on a single and Ramirez drew his walk. Jim Leyland pulled Anibal Sanchez for Jose Veras, who struck out Konerko looking. Leyland then opted for lefty Drew Smyly.
I'd like to think that, if this game mattered, there's no way Dunn would have faced Smyly. He's in the middle of another death spiral, entering that at-bat with 37 strikeouts over his last 83 plate appearances. Smyly made easy work of the 38th out of 84, getting him on a foul tip with the fourth pitch to end the inning.
*Garcia made a nice play on the shortstop side of second to retire Miguel Cabrera, who proved his slowness in three different ways tonight. Besides the infield single that wasn't, he hit a wall single, and grounded into a double play during which Ramirez fell down.
*Ramirez committed his 22nd error on a hot shot to his left that he probably should've had, because he didn't have to leave his feet. It just hit him on the heel of his glove, and he couldn't regroup.
*Phegley drew a four-pitch walk on a pitch he thought was strike one until home plate umpire Larry Vanover informed him otherwise, then stole his first career base off Sanchez.