MINNEAPOLIS — While Chris Sale is the bigger name among the Chicago White Sox left-handed starting pitchers, Jose Quintana has made his own name by entering Thursday as the American League’s with a 2.77 ERA.
Quintana won’t be ending the day in the same position after being battered by the Minnesota Twins.
Byron Buxton homered in his return to the majors, and Trevor Plouffe added a two-run shot as Minnesota beat Chicago 8-5, extending the White Sox losing streak to four games.
Quintana (11-10) allowed seven runs and seven hits in five innings and saw his ERA rise to 3.05.
“A guy might get him on a fastball,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. “But, you know, his fastball command was great. It was coming out, had some life to it. Curveball-wise, it seemed like it was rolling in there somewhat. But you’re talking about something that’s pretty rare to go out there and have something like this.”
Quintana had only allowed three runs or more once in his previous eight starts.
But Buxton’s three-run homer capped a five-run second inning. After retiring the next 10 batters, Joe Mauer singled in the fifth and Plouffe followed with his 10th home run into the bullpens in left-center field.
“I got a couple of strikeouts, but I don’t know, the two homers are what changed the game,” Quintana said. “I don’t give up too many base hits, but the homers changed the game. I missed my spot a couple times and I paid for it.”
Ervin Santana (7-10) escaped trouble to win for the fourth time in five decisions. He gave up 11 hits and two walks, but allowed just two runs as the Twins snapped their 13-game losing streak, one off the franchise record for a season.
Brandon Kintzler recorded his 13th save in 14 chances.
Offense is a big reason the White Sox have gone 18-27 since the All-Star break. Chicago has scored 171 runs, the second-fewest in the league, since the break.
The White Sox left runners in scoring position in each of the first five innings and left a total of 13 men on base in the game. Avisail Garcia showed the frustration when snapped his bat over his knee after his second strikeout of the game in the seventh.
“We left a lot of runs out there,” Ventura said. “When you look up there and see you’ve left 10 guys and they didn’t leave any at one point, that really kind of tells the tale more than (Quintana).”
Chicago’s Todd Frazier hit his 34th home run to open the scoring in the second, and Jose Abreu connected for a two-run homer, his 20th, in the sixth.
COME ON UP
Chicago added RHP Juan Minaya and C Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte.
Minaya, 25, was 5-6 with a 3.63 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 52 innings over 47 relief appearances since being claimed off waivers from Houston on June 22.
Smith, 28, was recalled by the White Sox in April before going on the DL with a sacroiliac joint dysfunction without playing in a game. Smith was hitting .219 with eight home runs and 24 RBIs for Charlotte this season.
Minaya and Smith made their major league debuts in the eighth inning. Minaya pitched a scoreless inning. Smith lined out to center in his first at-bat.
White Sox: SS Tim Anderson left the game in the third with a bruised right calf and was announced by the team as day to day. He was hit by line drive by teammate Melky Cabrera in the first. … RHP Miguel Gonzalez (strained right groin) started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday. Gonzalez took the loss while allowing seven runs — six earned — in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out seven.
RHP Kyle Gibson (5-8, 5.17 ERA) will start the second game of the four-game series for Minnesota on Friday against LHP Carlos Rodon (5-8, 3.91). Gibson has allowed nine earned runs over his past two starts but has given up just one earned run in 12 2/3 innings against the White Sox this season. Rodon has won his last three decisions and owns a 1.47 ERA in his past five starts.