GLENDALE, Ariz. – Jose Quintana got off to a great start again. He knows from experience there's a long way to go.
Quintana, who started strong and faded late as a rookie last season, tossed three perfect innings for the White Sox in their 4-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday. The left-hander pitched a combined 185 innings between Double-A Birmingham and the majors last year.
"I never had a long season like that," Quintana said. "My arm felt good, but I don't know if it necessarily was good."
Sox teammate Chris Sale experienced the same sort of heavy workload in his first full season as a major league starter. It was a learning experience for both. Quintana's focus this offseason was to improve his durability with a combination of rest, cardio and weight work.
"Last year after the season I took a little break," Quintana said. "But after that I went to work and was always thinking about durability for this year and strength toward the end of the season."
He looked fully rested Saturday, striking out two. The Reds didn't fare much better against the next five Sox pitchers, either, settling for four hits in all.
"We're not hitting now," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We'll get it straight. This is the time of year when you're not ready to hit the breaking ball. If anyone has a breaking ball, he's not going to get hit.
"We're swinging at balls in the dirt and we're fouling off the fastball."
Corner infielder Conor Gillaspie hit his second homer of the spring and outfield prospect Jared Mitchell homered and doubled in a run.
"He's a very aggressive kid at the plate who plays hard," Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Gillaspie, acquired in a trade from the Giants for a minor league pitcher last week to give the White Sox another left-handed bat.
Joey Votto doubled for Cincinnati, but Bronson Arroyo struggled in his first start of the spring.
Quintana shored up the Sox rotation last season when opening-day starter John Danks went down with a shoulder injury in late May. A native of Colombia who had been signed by the Sox as a minor league free agent in November 2011 after the Yankees left him off their 40-man roster, Quintana came up from the minor leagues and made 22 starts, going 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA in the first half before tiring in the second half.
He finished 6-6 with a 3.76 ERA and is now considered a fixture in the rotation.
"Quintana went out and looked great, looks fresh," Ventura said. "He's committed to being a big leaguer for a long time and he comes in with that attitude that he belongs. When he's out there, you think he's been around for a while."
Arroyo, who had the flu when the team reported to camp, gave up five hits and two runs in two innings.
"I feel good now," Arroyo said. "I feel like I'm on track. I'll have five or six outings that should get me to seven innings before we get out of here, which is what we get every year."
NOTES: Hector Santiago pitched two scoreless innings for the Sox. ... Danks, coming back from shoulder surgery, had his last side session in advance of his first start, which will be Monday against the Giants. ... Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who has been in Miami tending to a family matter, is not expected back for a couple of days, Ventura said. ... Jay Bruce got his first hit of the spring for the Reds, a single. ... Armando Galarraga allowed one run over three innings for the Reds, a homer to Mitchell. ... Jake Peavy makes his first start of the spring today for the Sox against the Padres and Clayton Richard in a matchup of pitchers who were traded for each other in 2009. ... The Sox waited a week longer than most teams to use their projected starting pitchers this spring.