The Chicago White Sox have an opportunity to reclaim the AL Central lead despite struggling most of June.
Having Jose Quintana on the mound could increase their chances.
The impressive rookie tries to help the White Sox to their first series win since early this month when they face the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field.
Chicago won a season-high nine straight from May 23-June 1, with the last victory coming in the opener of the a three-game set against Seattle in which it took two of three.
The White Sox (37-34) haven't won a series since and are 8-12 this month following Saturday's 8-6 victory over Milwaukee.
Dayan Viciedo went 3 for 4 with a two-run homer and four RBIs. Chicago had 14 hits after being held to three in a 1-0, 10-inning defeat in the series opener."It's a confidence boost for the offense," manager Robin Ventura said. "You can sit there and hang your head and not do anything about it, but they have the ability to take it day by day and not let yesterday affect today."
Viciedo entered the contest hitting .132 in June."It's been a really tough month, but as far as that affecting my confidence it's just one of those things you got to keep going at it, keep practicing, and it will turn around," Viciedo said.
The White Sox, who are one-half game behind Cleveland in the Central, hope to stay on track with the surprising Quintana taking the mound in the finale.
Quintana (2-1, 1.53 ERA) continued his stellar run as a starter after needing only 77 pitches to toss eight shutout innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, but Ventura removed him prior to the ninth with a 1-0 lead.
Closer Addison Reed , who notched his ninth save Saturday, proceeded to give up the tying run and Chicago would lose 2-1 in 10 innings."It's one of those things that happens," Ventura said. "Q pitched great, but right there I wanted to go to the closer."
Though denied the victory, Quintana had another excellent outing in his fifth major league start. The left-hander hasn't allowed more than two runs and has struck out 17 with four walks in his starts.
He'll be opposed by another rookie hoping to make his mark in Milwaukee's starting rotation.
Michael Fiers (2-2, 3.46) made four starts before pitching a scoreless ninth inning of relief in Milwaukee's 8-3 win over Toronto on Wednesday. With Shaun Marcum going to the disabled list, Fiers will be back in the starting rotation for now.
The right-hander allowed one run and four hits in seven innings of a 6-2 win at Minnesota on June 16, earning his first victory since beating the Dodgers in his season debut May 29.
Both of those wins came on the road, where the Brewers had won three of four prior to Saturday's loss.
Milwaukee (33-38) still has won five of eight overall despite the defeat. Norichika Aoki went 3 for 4 with four stolen bases Saturday, becoming the first Brewer to accomplish the feat since Scott Podsednik on Sept. 18, 2004."I think that's a big part of my game, being aggressive on the bases and going after the next base," Aoki said.
Chicago has won nine of 11 meetings dating back to 2000.
|June 02, 2012||Aramis Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained left quadricep|
|May 31, 2012||Ryan Braun||Day-to-Day||Tight Achilles|
|May 28, 2012||Jonathan Lucroy||15-Day DL||Fractured right hand, out 4-6 weeks|
|May 26, 2012||Cesar Izturis||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|May 26, 2012||Travis Ishikawa||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|May 25, 2012||Cesar Izturis||Day-to-Day||Strained hamstring|
|Chicago White Sox|
|June 13, 2012||Adam Dunn||Day-to-Day||Sprained ankle|
|June 04, 2012||Kosuke Fukudome||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|May 30, 2012||Alejandro De Aza||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised right knee|
|May 20, 2012||John Danks||15-Day DL||Sore left shoulder|
|May 19, 2012||Brent Morel||Day-to-Day||Bulged disc|
|May 18, 2012||Brent Morel||15-Day DL||Lumbar back strain|
CHICAGO (AP) -- A walk-off win, a nice spot in the standings and a new All-Star third basemen. It was a good day for the Chicago White Sox.
Pinch hitter Eduardo Escobar lined an RBI single in the 10th inning and the White Sox beat the Milwaukee Brewers 1-0 Sunday.
The victory moved the White Sox past Cleveland into the AL Central lead. Chicago also announced it had acquired infielder Kevin Youkilis and cash from Boston in a trade for infielder Brent Lillibridge and right-handed pitcher Zach Stewart .
Alejandro De Aza opened the White Sox 10th with a double off Manny Parra (0-2). Adam Dunn walked with one out and with Lillibridge due up Chicago needed a pinch-hitter. They turned to Escobar.
"You practice hard for that opportunity and once they called me in, I'm really happy that we were able to win," Escobar said through a translator.
White Sox general manager Kenny Williams said the Youkilis deal came together in the last 24 hours.
"I just got off the phone with him, he's very excited to join our club and he's got a little edge to him that I like," Williams said. "I can't tell you exactly what he said, but he wants to come in and prove some people wrong."
Youkilis is hitting just .233 this year with four homers and 14 RBIs, but is a career .287 hitter and a three-time all-star.
"I think it's good for him. A good change of scenery, I'm sure," White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said.
For the second time in the three-game series, the White Sox and Brewers were scoreless after nine innings. Chicago got another brilliant outing from rookie left-hander Jose Quintana , whose father flew to Chicago from Colombia for the game.
Quintana allowed six hits in eight innings, walking none and striking out four.
"Really happy to have him out there," Quintana said through a translator. "It gave me more confidence and it's something that knowing he's there made me want to do the best I could even more."
Quintana's consecutive scoreless innings streak reached 16. He's now faced 97 consecutive batters without issuing a walk, the longest active streak in baseball.
Mike Fiers gave up five hits in 7 1-3 innings for the Brewers.
"It's OK. I've got to do my job and the runs we score is what we score," Fiers said. "If I get a loss, it doesn't matter to me. It's putting zeros up on the board and keeping my team in the game and getting a good result."
Brian Bruney (1-0) pitched a scoreless 10th for the win.
Despite the lack of scoring, the Brewers and White Sox each had chances.
Chicago executed an alert defensive play in the third when leadoff batter Norichika Aoki attempted to stretch a two-out double into a triple. Right fielder Alex Rios threw to second baseman Gordon Beckham , who made a nice relay to third baseman Orlando Hudson for the tag.
Hudson and Beckham both singled in the bottom of the third, but Dunn grounded out.
In the Brewers' fourth, Aramis Ramirez hit a two-out double and Corey Hart hit a drive to right field that a leaping Rios caught at the wall.
Chicago threatened in the sixth when Beckham singled, stole second and reached third on Dunn's deep fly. Konerko struck out swinging to end the inning.
Fiers was pulled in the eighth with White Sox runners at second and third with one out. Reliever Francisco Rodriguez struck out Beckham and Dunn.
The Brewers had runners on first and second in the ninth but Addison Reed got a strikeout and pinch-runner Nyjer Morgan was caught trying to steal third base. The White Sox loaded the bases in the bottom half but Jose Veras got Hudson to pop out.
Bruney walked two in the 10th but coaxed an infield popup by Carlos Gomez to end the inning.
NOTES: The White Sox ended 9-9 in interleague play while the Brewers closed at 6-12. ... The White Sox saluted the 40th anniversary of their 1972 AL West runner-up team in a pregame ceremony. That team went 87-67 and Dick Allen , the AL MVP, threw out the first pitch. ... It's been a frustrating run for manager Ron Roenicke and the Brewers, who haven't been above .500 since April. "Things just aren't clicking for us," he said. "Everything's just a little bit off."