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White Sox 5, Rangers 0: Triple play protects shutout

Jose Quintana finally gets some good luck in well-rounded victory.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Quintana, he of 53 no-decisions and a below-.500 career record, was overdue for some help from his teammates.

It showed up, overflowing like an around-the-horn of plenty that included:

Melky Cabrera's baserunning.

Melky Cabrera's defense.

And the first triple play since 2006.

Quintana delivered seven shutout innings while the Sox applied steady pressure throughout the evening to Martin Perez, resulting in a perfectly enjoyable evening at U.S. Cellular FIeld.

There was a full moon, if that means anything to you.

Let's get to the play that sealed the deal. Quintana took the mound with a a newly expanded 5-0 lead after the Sox posted three runs in the bottom of the sixth, and he threatened to abuse that cushion. He loaded the bases on a Prince Fielder double, Adrian Beltre single and, most distressingly, a four-pitch Ian Desmond walk. With Matt Albers warm in the bullpen, Quintana was only going to face one more batter, lefty Mitch Moreland.

That's all Quintana needed. Moreland lashed a liner to right, but Adam Eaton flagged it down, then recovered to make a quick throw home to keep Fielder frozen at third. Desmond must have thought that Moreland had a sure hit, because he was late getting back to first, and cutoff man Jose Abreu nearly tagged him on the way back.

Desmond gave him another shot when he overran the bag, and after a little bit of a cat-and-mouse game, a diving Abreu slapped a tag on a diving Desmond before the diving Desmond reached first base.

While they were chasing each other around, Fielder thought about going home. He hesitated, then was lost when Abreu recovered from the tag and threw home, and Fielder was in a rundown. Beltre made matters easier by breaking for third, meaning two runners were going to the same base.

Dioner Navarro simplified matters by throwing behind Beltre to Tyler Saladino. Once Fielder broke home for good, Saladino fired to Navarro, who chased Fielder back into Todd Frazier for a 9-3-2-6-2-5 triple play.

Or you could just see it, I suppose.

Quintana went from in a huge jam to out of the inning, and Albers and Zach Putnam each pitched a scoreless inning for the Sox' fourth shutout of the season.

It was a crowd-pleasing evening all around, with the Sox scoring in three different innings, and in a variety of ways.

Cabrera scored the game's first run in the second inning with some heads-up baserunning, taking third on a one-out liner to Ryan Rua in right, then scoring via #WILDPITCHOFFENSE on a Martin Perez pitch that didn't get all that far from Bryan Holaday.

One inning later, the Sox resorted to good ol' American manufacturing. Adam Eaton led off with a double, moved to third on Austin Jackson's sac bunt, then scored on Jose Abreu's sac fly.

They found the elusive crooked number in the sixth, and all after two outs. Todd Frazier worked a walk from 1-2, then took third on Cabrera's double to left. It was a good hold by Joe McEwing considering the strength of Desmond's arm in left, and Brett Lawrie validated it by dropping in a soft liner to left center. He turned it into a double when Delino DeShields couldn't field it cleanly, and even though Jeff Banister called on a righty to face Jerry Sands, Sands came through with a single through the left side for the game's fifth run.

The Sox, meanwhile, played errorless ball. Quintana's night ended on the triple play, and it started with a leadoff walk that he erased with a pickoff. In between Cabrera took away extra bases from Desmond with one of his trademarked entertaining catches by the warning track.

Bullet points:

*Perez entered the game with more walks than strikeouts, and the Sox managed the strike zone well enough with four of each, including two walks by Frazier.

*Cabrera and Eaton are both hitting .317 after two-hit nights.

*The Sox ended up on the right side of a first-inning challenge, as Eaton's hard slide into second base on a potential double-play ball was ruled clean. The Chase Utley rule worked like it should, at least for one night.

*Quintana's record is .500 now (35-35).

Record: 11-6 | Box score | Highlights