CHICAGO – Jose Quintana looked up in the fifth inning and started thinking about the possibility.
He made a strong bid for a no-hitter. It ended with a weak hit.
Quintana did not allow a hit until David Ortiz broke it up with one out in the seventh on a broken-bat single, and the White Sox beat the Boston Red Sox, 3-1, on Tuesday night.
“In the fifth inning, I realized, man, they haven’t got a hit yet,” Quintana said through an interpreter. “All I wanted to do was just get outs and keep the team ahead.”
Jeff Keppinger hit a two-run homer off Felix Doubront (3-2) in the fifth. Alex Rios extended his career-high hitting streak to 16 with a single and RBI double, and the White Sox won for the sixth time in eight games. They’ll try to complete the sweep against Clay Buchholz on Wednesday.
Quintana (3-1) was simply terrific.
The left-hander struck out five and walked two, and he had the fans thinking they just might be witnessing something special. The roars from the stands grew louder with each out as the game wore on, right until Ortiz’s bat shattered on a bloop single to center with one out in the seventh.
That ended the bid for the 19th no-hitter in White Sox history and the first since Philip Humber’s perfect game at Seattle on April 21 last season.
Two more singles by Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava loaded the bases and ended the night for Quintana, who got a standing ovation as he left the field.
“He was pounding the strike zone and pretty much making his pitches,” Ortiz said.
Jesse Crain came on to strike out Will Middlebrooks and Stephen Drew to end that threat, but the Red Sox got a run in the eighth after Matt Thornton walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia leading off and gave up a single to Jacoby Ellsbury. Matt Lindstrom retired pinch-hitter Mike Carp on a fly to left before uncorking a wild pitch, and Saltalamacchia scored from third when shortstop Alexei Ramirez allowed Dustin Pedroia’s hard grounder to go through his legs for an error.
Ortiz then grounded into a double play to end the rally, and Rios added an RBI double with two out in the bottom half to make it a two-run game.
Addison Reed worked the ninth for his 16th save in 17 chances, although Casper Wells had a bit of an adventure in left. He slipped while catching Nava’s fly to warning track for the second out before Middlebrooks ended it with a fly to center, preserving the win for Quintana.
“Everything was working,” he said. “All [my] pitches were in the zone.”
Doubront was a tough-luck loser even though he was almost as effective as Quintana. He allowed two runs and five hits in six innings and walked two after issuing six in his previous start against Tampa Bay.
, and he wasn’t even too upset about the pitch Keppinger knocked to the seats.
“Not even one mistake, just I threw a good pitch,” he said. “A good hitter put a good swing on it and hit it out of the ballpark.”
He gave up a single to Ramirez on a slow roller toward third with one out in the first and did not allow another hit until the fifth.
Then, after getting all their runs with two out in Monday’s 6-4 win, the White Sox did it again.
They got their first two when Dayan Viciedo singled to left in the fifth and Keppinger drove the next pitch to the seats in left to make it 2-0. The home run was his first since Sept. 29 when he hit one for Tampa Bay in a game at U.S. Cellular Field, and Tyler Flowers nearly added to it when he doubled off the wall in left-center before Tyler Greene grounded out to end the inning.
“Our starting pitching’s really good,” Keppinger said. “Every game, we’re in it. We have a chance. It’s just a matter of if we can get that big hit — or get that big two-out hit. It seems as of late, we’ve been getting a lot of two-out hits that are turning into runs.”
NOTES: The White Sox scratched Chris Sale from Wednesday’s start against the Boston Red Sox because of a mild tendinitis in his left shoulder. Sale was scheduled to pitch against the unbeaten Buchholz (6-0, 1.78 ERA). Hector Santiago will start in his place. Sale said he “absolutely” expects to be ready for his next scheduled start against the Cubs on Tuesday. ... Chicago’s John Danks said he hopes to make his first start of the season this week. He has not pitched since May 19 last year and had surgery in August to repair a capsule tear and remove debris in his rotator cuff and biceps. ... The White Sox confirmed a report that chairman Jerry Reinsdorf has recommended a family succession plan that includes selling its interest in the franchise. The team said in a statement released Tuesday that while he has recommended putting the club up for sale “once he is no longer with us,” all plans are “fluid” and “ultimately will depend on timing and other circumstances.” The White Sox also said he has no plans to sell the team anytime soon. ... The Red Sox held Shane Victorino out of the lineup Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox because of tightness in his left hamstring.