Quintana overcomes early struggles

CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana admitted home-plate umpire Lance Barrett’s strike zone wasn’t helping matters Saturday, but he wasn’t about to point any fingers after his up-and-down performance in the White Sox’s 5-4 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Quintana battled control issues in the opening inning Saturday, allowing two hits, including a home run, three runs and four walks. He made 42 pitches in the inning and put the White Sox behind 3-0.

Barrett also appeared to have a small strike zone for Quintana in the first few innings, and catcher A.J. Pierzynski took issue with it in the third inning which led to his and manager Robin Ventura’s ejections.

Despite all the early drama, Quintana eventually found his groove and held the Mariners scoreless over his final 4 2/3 innings. During one stretch, he retired 12 consecutive hitters. In the end, he allowed five hits, three runs, four walks and struck out four in 5 2/3 innings and received a no decision.

“There could have been a couple of calls that I would say (Barrett) missed, but for the most part it was my control,” said Quintana through a team translator. “I can’t put the blame on him.”

Despite having said that, Quintana was pleased Pierzynski and Ventura came to his defense. After their ejections, Quintana struck out the next two hitters he faced.

“That’s what teammates are for, A.J. and Robin coming out and sticking up for myself and the team,” Quintana said. “I know things like that end up happening.

“(Their ejections) energized me a bit. I just wanted to get some strikeouts and get those guys out. I wanted to keep the game close and wanted to give the team an opportunity.”

Quintana achieved that, and the offense came through for him. The White Sox rallied to take the lead and the bullpen held on for the win.

“I think he got into a little period early where he didn’t have feel, and he kept throwing fastballs where they should have probably mixed it up a bit,” White Sox bench coach Mark Parent said. “But it was really impressive the way he settled down and gave us an opportunity to come back and win. He’s done that before. He’ll be around here a long time doing that stuff.”