Middle-of-the-order might makes it easy for Quintana, Sox

Powered by six hits, four runs scored and four RBI from their No. 3 and No. 4 hitters, the White Sox cruised to a fun and easy 6-2 Memorial Day victory over the Cleveland Indians. More of note, is that their No. 3 and No. 4 hitters are Conor Gillaspie and Dayan Viciedo.

Viciedo gave the Sox a lead they would never relinquish in the third inning. After a frustrating couple of innings as Indians starter Josh Tomlin adjusted to umpire Ron Kulpa's expanded strike zone sooner than they did (and would continue to, since Tyler Flowers was tossed in the fourth for arguing strikes), Viciedo jumped all over a hanging curve and golfed it half way up to the left field concourse.

The three-run blast immediately covered up a Michael Brantley RBI single in the top half of the frame, and gave Jose Quintana more room to work with than he's accustomed to. Gillaspie singled ahead of Viciedo and scored on his moonshot, and when the game tightened on Quintana again after Ryan Raburn's requisite RBI single in the sixth, Gillaspie made a tense game into a relaxing stroll.

Already 2-2 by the time he stepped into the box in the sixth, Gillaspie's compact swing smacked another double to right. He advanced to third as Viciedo chased Tomlin with a single, and they both scored on successive singles from Alexei Ramirez and Alejandro De Aza. Not done, Gillaspie dug in once more in the seventh after a one-out Marcus Semien single, and sliced a fastball from extreme LOOGY Marc Rzepczynski into the left-center gap to score Semien and stake out a 6-2 advantage. He had one double vs. lefties for all of last season.

Naturally, Quintana — after being abandoned by the offense while brilliant — was rewarded in droves for a standard-issue outing. He stayed out of trouble and kept the ball out of the ground a lot, and revved it up when he needed to. After letting the first two batters reach in the third, Quintana limited the damage by striking out the side (three of his five on the day), even though he coughed up the Brantley single in between.

Moises Sierra kept the sixth inning from becoming a thing by cutting down Raburn trying to turn his RBI single into a double, and helped out some more with a diving catch on a sinking liner from Yan Gomes in the seventh. Quintana racked up nearly 100 pitches through five innings, and had to be economical to make it through six, Despite the four-run cushion, his bullpen made everyone sweat it out a bit in the eighth, loading the bases with two out for Daniel Murphy, before Scott Downs made use of Kulpa's zone and painted the inside corner for a finishing strikeout.

Downs added a 1-2-3 ninth, which means he gets the save for some odd reason not worth discussing. 


Box Score

Team Record: 26-27

Next Game: Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. CT vs. Cleveland on WCIU


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