Flowers, Sox top Blue Jays
TORONTO – Tyler Flowers and Alex Rios did enough damage against J.A. Happ that Jose Quintana didn’t need to be at his best.
The White Sox left-hander was anyway.
Flowers and Rios each homered and Quintana pitched 62/3 innings to lead the White Sox to a 7-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.
Flowers hit a three-run homer and Rios added a solo shot to back Quintana (1-0), who held the Blue Jays to five hits with two walks while striking out seven in his third start of the season.
“The offense was great, Tyler coming through like that, I think it was big for him,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “When you hit a home run like that, that’s a big relief because you know you’re helping out.”
Happ (2-1) allowed six hits, including two homers, and five runs in 52/3 innings to end a string of four consecutive quality starts by the Blue Jays’ rotation.
“I felt I was making pitches, making several in a row and they’d make you pay. So it’s frustrating in that sense to put us down early. It’s tough, as you saw,” Happ said.
The Sox have won two straight after dropping the opener of the four-game series Monday.
Injuries have been a problem for the Blue Jays, who played their third game in a row without right fielder Jose Bautista. Bautista has a sore back and is listed as day-to-day, while shortstop Jose Reyes will miss about three months with a severely sprained ankle.
After a two-out double by Dayan Viciedo and a walk to Alexei Ramirez in the second, the Sox took a 3-0 lead when Flowers sent a 2-1 fastball into the seats in right-center for his third homer of the season.
Munenori Kawasaki and Rajai Davis singled with two outs in the third for Toronto’s first base runners, but Quintana struck out Melky Cabrera to end the inning.
The White Sox went ahead 4-0 in the fourth on doubles by Paul Konerko and Ramirez.
Konerko extended his hit streak to nine games with a leadoff double to right. Davis had his glove on the ball but could not hold it as he ran into the wall. Happ then struck out Adam Dunn and Viciedo before Ramirez drove a double to left center.
The Blue Jays threatened again when Kawasaki walked with two outs in the fifth after fouling off five pitches with a full count. He took third on a double by Davis, but Cabrera grounded out to end the inning.
Rios, a former Blue Jays player, led off the sixth with his fifth homer of the season, sending a 1-1 slider against the facing of the second deck in left-center. Viciedo’s two-out single chased Happ, bringing on right-hander Ramon Ortiz.
“We haven’t really put it together yet. It’s frustrating,” said Gibbons. “The guys are trying. It’s one of those things, you’ve just go to fight through it. You can’t say it’s early anymore, really.”
Ortiz ended the sixth but gave up two runs in the seventh. Flowers, Tyler Greene and Alejandro De Aza singled and Jeff Keppinger hit a sacrifice fly. Rios walked to reload the bases and Konerko followed with a sacrifice fly.
Quintana was replaced by right-hander Jesse Crain with two outs in the seventh after Kawasaki’s second single of the game.
NOTES: Blue Jays OF Jose Bautista missed his third game in a row with a sore back. ... The White Sox recalled OF Jordan Danks from Triple-A Charlotte and optioned RHP Deunte Heath to Charlotte. The 26-year-old Danks was batting .333 (17-for-51) with two homers and five RBIs at Charlotte. He came on to play center Wednesday in the eighth and singled in the ninth. ... Toronto RHP R.A. Dickey (1-2, 5.82 ERA) will oppose LHP Chris Sale (1-1, 5.21 ERA) in Thursday’s series finale.