CLEVELAND -- “The Corner” may be Progressive Field’s shiny new right-field hot spot, but Jose Abreu still favors the home run porch over the Mini Monster in left. Clubbing his second home run of the season and his first since Opening Day, the Chicago White Sox right-hander deposited a 2-0 fastball from the left hand of Indians pitcher Nick Hagadone directly into the standing room-only section of the lakefront park, providing a vital insurance run in his team’s 4-1 victory on Tuesday night.
Abreu’s homer, a 387-foot laser beam in the top of the fifth inning, marked his sixth against the Indians, the most against any team in Major League Baseball. It was also his fourth in Cleveland’s Progressive Field, the highest total of any road stadium for the 28-year-old slugger.
“Once they got the one run and Jose ends up hitting a home run and getting us back to three, that was a big run for us,” said White Sox manager Robin Ventura.
The insurance run capped off what was largely a sloppy win for the Sox who raised their record to 3-4 on the 2015 season. Chicago starter Jose Quintana allowed just one earned run over six innings (three hits, six strikeouts), but took 104 pitches to get the job done -- sixty-three of which occurred in the first three innings. The left-hander bumped up his record against Cleveland to a perfect 4-0 (12 appearances), but had trouble locating his breaking pitches through the course of the night.
“It was a rough start, those first three innings,” said Quintana. “It was a little bit dry. The first month of the year, it was a little bit cool. I’m happy with this outing and ready for the next one.”
His team was able to capitalize early when Indians starter Carlos Carrasco was removed from the game after sustaining a jaw injury following a line drive back up the middle from left fielder Melky Cabrera. Carrasco laid motionless for some time and was ultimately carted off having just thrown eight pitches. The White Sox subsequently scored two first-inning runs.
Quintana took that early lead and never looked back as his offense provided him with an even bigger cushion. In the fourth inning, it was catcher Tyler Flowers who plated Avisail Garcia with a single off of the glove of Cleveland shortstop Jose Ramirez. Then after the Indians would answer back with a run-scoring double from veteran outfielder Ryan Raburn, it was Abreu who delivered the final blow, his home run ricocheting off of a beer tent in left field and coming to it’s final resting place in the hands of a fan two sections over in the Progressive Field bleachers.
The White Sox bullpen would throw three no-hit innings to close out the contest, earning eight of their nine outs via strikeout.
“You get some runs, you add on, [Quintana] was erratic -- he wasn’t really controlled like you’d like to see, but he battled,” said Ventura. “He ends up fighting through it, getting to a point where you can get to the bullpen, and the bullpen did a nice job tonight too.”