CHICAGO – Add Jose Quintana to the list of White Sox starters who are getting little run support.
Quintana allowed only two runs in seven innings, but the Sox's offense was nowhere to be found in a 5-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
"He was [sharp]," Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He's been doing that lately. He's a good pitcher, and it's just one of those where he doesn't get really what he deserves."
Quintana (5-3) has received two runs of support or fewer in 14 of his 21 starts this season. The Sox fell 20 games under .500 and lost for the fourth time in five games.
Quintana's only real mistake came in the third inning when David Lough opened the scoring when he led off with a home run into the right-field bullpen to give the Royals a 1-0 lead.
"It was bad location," Quintana said through an interpreter. "It was the right pitch to throw, but just bad location. Those things happen and you move on."
The score remained 1-0 until the seventh, when the Royals tacked on another run on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Tejada that scored Salvador Perez.
The Sox had their opportunities against Royals starter James Shields, but failed to cash in.
Shields (5-7) tossed seven shutout innings, allowing eight hits and walking two. He worked out of a couple tough situations, including a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning.
Gordon Beckham hit the ball hard with men on first and second and two outs in the second and fourth innings but came away empty. Beckham, who had missed the previous five games with a sore left wrist, lined out both times to deep center field.
"One of those nights and unfortunately they came with guys on base," Beckham said. "That stinks because maybe it could've been a different game. But it was one of those nights that Shields was pretty good. I mean, he's always good."
Shields, in his first season with Kansas City, has pitched better than his record might indicate. He lowered his ERA to 3.09 and has been especially effective on the road, where he improved to 4-3 with a 2.50 ERA in 12 starts.
"Forget the record," Royals manager Ned Yost said of the veteran righty. "The record doesn't tell a quarter of the story of the way he's pitched all year. He's been really, really good. He's an innings eater. He keeps us in the game every time.
"We've just struggled to score runs for him. But tonight was good that he got a 'W.' He pitched great."
The Royals, while still two games under .500, have looked better of late, having won four straight and six of eight since the All-Star break.
The Sox seemed to gain momentum in the eighth when they cut the lead in half with a solo homer by Conor Gillaspie. But the Royals added three runs in the ninth on run-scoring hits by Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas, and a sacrifice fly by Lough.
"It is what it is," Beckham said. "It happens sometimes and unfortunately it happened at the end of the game. We'll hopefully come back tomorrow and get after it. That's all we can do."
NOTES: White Sox RHP Jesse Crain, who has been on the disabled list since July 3 with a right shoulder strain, played catch on Thursday. "It definitely wasn't better," he said. Crain, who has a 0.74 ERA in 38 appearances this season, said he will take four or five days off before throwing again next week. . Before the game, Beckham discussed his sore left wrist and his return to the lineup. "There's some soreness but no pain, so it's go time," he said. . Although Yost isn't ready to commit to it long-term, he said he will keep first baseman Eric Hosmer batting second for now. "Traditionally, a situational guy hits second," Yost said. The slugging Hosmer was hitting .321 with a .519 slugging percentage in July before Friday. . Royals RHP Wade Davis (4-9) faces LHP Chris Sale (6-9) Saturday night in the second game of the series.