Alvarez better but White Sox beat Toronto
TORONTO (AP) An ill-advised pickoff throw derailed the hopes of the Blue Jays' Henderson Alvarez for a win.
Jose Quintana snapped a five-start winless streak, Alejandro De Aza scored the go-ahead run on Alvarez's throwing error and the Chicago White Sox held off the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 Tuesday night for a rare victory at Rogers Centre.
Chased in the fifth inning at Tampa Bay last week after giving up six runs and 11 hits, Alvarez (7-10) was better in this one, allowing two earned runs and seven hits in seven innings.
"I'm pleased with the way I pitched tonight," Alvarez said through a translator. "I used all of my pitches and every pitch that I used was down in the zone."
Blue Jays manager John Farrell was pleased, too.
"He had more depth to his slider than he's had," Farrell said of Alvarez. "I thought he had more separation with the velocity of his changeup and his fastball."
However, the one unearned run off Alvarez proved costly, with De Aza scoring from third on an errant pickoff throw to first in Chicago's three-run fifth.
"When I'm on base, I try for any chance to get to the next base," De Aza said. "I took a good, good jump, I read the ball very well. I didn't think there was going to be a play."
The AL Central leaders won in Toronto for just the fourth time in 20 games dating to 2007.
"It was good for us, a big win," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
The Blue Jays have lost 12 of their past 16. Quintana (5-2) allowed two runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings to win for the first time since July 5 against Texas.
"He's a tough kid," Ventura said. "He pitched great."
Reed finished in the ninth for his 21st save in 24 chances.
Ventura said the changes were an attempt to decrease his team's reliance on home runs, but the result was a lineup that collected just seven hits, all of them singles.
"I was just happy to piece it together without actually hitting a home run," Ventura said.
Toronto struck quickly against Quintana, with Yunel Escobar hitting an RBI single in the first. The Blue Jays added one more in the third when Rajai Davis doubled, stole third and scored on Edwin Encarnacion's groundout.
Chicago took the lead with a three-run third, starting with RBI singles from De Aza and Wise. De Aza scored from third when Alvarez overthrew first baseman David Cooper on a pickoff. The error was the second of the game for Alvarez.
"That's just one of those that's a gift," Ventura said. "We'll take it."
Toronto loaded the bases with one out in the fifth but Encarnacion lined out to Youkilis at third, who threw to second to double off Davis and end the inning.
"Encarnacion squares a ball up, Youkilis makes a hell of a play, and Rajai is a little aggressive at second base there and gets doubled up," Farrell said. "As it turns out, both sides of the fifth inning were the difference."
NOTES: When Toronto rookie Moises Sierra broke his bat fouling off a ball in the third, the jagged broken barrel flew into the seats behind the third base dugout. The bat landed in an aisle and no one was hurt. Sierra broke another bat when he grounded out in the eighth. ... Blue Jays OF Colby Rasmus (right groin) was scratched from the starting lineup and replaced by Mike McCoy. Rasmus delivered a pinch-hit single in the ninth and was replaced by pinch runner Omar Vizquel. ... Chicago 1B Paul Konerko (concussion) rode an exercise bike Tuesday, his first activity since going on the seven-day DL last week. ... Toronto signed C Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $3 million contract with a team option for a third year and signed C Yorvit Torrealba to a minor league deal. Torrealba will report to Double-A New Hampshire. ... Farrell said OF Jose Bautista (left wrist) felt no pain after swinging and hitting off the tee Monday. Bautista has not played since July 16. ... Blue Jays RHP Brandon Morrow (strained left side) allowed three hits in 4 2-3 scoreless innings in a rehab start at Double-A. He walked none and struck out six. ... Actor Charlie Sheen, in town to play in Joe Carter's celebrity golf tournament, took batting practice before the game and threw out the first pitch.
Updated August 14, 2012