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White Sox waste strong pitching in 1-0 loss

Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura, left, talks with pitcher Jesse Crain, center, in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Friday, April 12, 2013, in Cleveland. The Indians won 1-0. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura, left, talks with pitcher Jesse Crain, center, in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Friday, April 12, 2013, in Cleveland. The Indians won 1-0. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

CLEVELAND – The Chicago White Sox couldn't take advantage of an outstanding pitching performance Friday.

Jose Quintana and two relievers allowed only three hits, but Cleveland starter Justin Masterson dominated Chicago's hitters and the Indians scored a run in the ninth to send the White Sox to a 1-0 defeat.

"It was a well-pitched game from both (starters), " Chicago manager Robin Ventura said.

Nick Swisher's two-out single in the ninth inning off Jesse Crain broke up a scoreless game and sent the White Sox to their fourth straight loss.

Quintana pitched well enough for his team to get a win.

The 24-year-old left-hander allowed one hit — Michael Brantley's two-out double in the second. The Indians' only other base runner against him came when Swisher was hit by a pitch with two outs in the fourth. Quintana, who allowed six runs in four innings in his first start against Seattle, struck out seven.

"He was aggressive," Ventura said. "He was getting ahead, he was painting. Maybe the weather had a little bit to do with it. It's not an easy time to hit when it's this cold. But pitchers like it and he was sharp."

Ventura didn't give any thought to having Quintana, who had thrown 98 pitches, go out for the eighth inning.

"Not this early," he said. "Again, he was getting up there with some pitches. We want him to be around for a while."

Quintana, speaking through an interpreter, had no problem with Ventura's decision.

"Yeah, you usually want to stay in the game and everything, but I feel that the decision of the manager was a good one and this is a team game, so I totally support the manager's decision," he said.

Ventura saved his highest praise for Masterson, who has thrown a career-high 19 consecutive scoreless innings.

"This is as good as I think I've ever seen him," Ventura said. "He was great today. And that's the story — he was great. His ball was moving all over the place."

Masterson (3-0) retired the side in order in the ninth and was given a standing ovation by the crowd of 11,864. He allowed five hits and struck out seven.

"It's going to end sometime, right?" Masterson said of his scoreless innings streak. "You have to go out and finish off innings, which is something I'm trying to do."

Michael Bourn started the rally with a one-out double off Crain (0-1). Bourn's blooper landed near the left field line and he beat the throw to second base. After Asdrubal Cabrera's groundout moved Bourn to third, Crain fell behind Jason Kipnis in the count 3-0 before an intentional walk was issued.

Swisher, one of the Indians' key offseason additions, hit the first pitch into right field and was mobbed by his teammates as the Indians won for the first time in three home games despite managing only three hits.

"The two stars of the game were Justin Masterson and Jason Kipnis," Swisher said.

Masterson was assisted by his defense. Alex Rios hit a ball off the wall in left with two outs in the first, but was thrown out trying for a double by Brantley.

Alexei Ramirez singled to lead off the sixth, but was thrown out attempting to steal second by catcher Yan Gomes. Paul Konerko doubled with two outs in the seventh — becoming Chicago's first batter to reach second — but Dayan Viciedo struck out.

Conor Gillaspie started the eighth with a double over the head of Brantley, who nearly made a running catch in front of the wall. Ramirez fouled off a bunt attempt that was caught by Gomes behind home plate. After a groundout moved Gillaspie to third, Masterson struck out Alejandro De Aza to end the inning.

The Indians were outscored 25-7 in losing the first two games of a series to the Yankees. Scheduled games Wednesday and Thursday were postponed by rain, allowing manager Terry Francona to come back with Masterson.

The Indians' pitching staff had a 5.58 ERA through the first eight games and had allowed 16 home runs.

"It was fun," Francona said. "It would have been more fun if we had (scored) nine, but it was really good."

"My defense was great for me," Masterson said. "I'm trying to stay under control and it really makes a difference when your defense makes those kinds of plays."

Matt Thornton pitched a scoreless eighth.

The White Sox, who were swept in three games in Washington, have had all 10 of their games decided by three runs or fewer.

Rios has hit safely in all 10 games this season.

NOTES: White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a broken wrist and will have surgery on Tuesday at the Cleveland Clinic.... Chicago pitching coach Don Cooper remains hospitalized in Northern Virginia with diverticulitis. He'll miss the remainder of the team's 10-game road trip. ... RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, pitching at Triple-A Columbus, left Friday's game against Indianapolis in the third inning after issuing five walks. The Indians signed the veteran to a minor-league contract before spring training. ... LHP Scott Kazmir, who is on the disabled list with a strained rib cage, threw a bullpen session on Friday. ... In other roster moves, LHP Nick Hagadone was recalled from Columbus, RHP Corey Kluber was optioned to Columbus and RHP Matt Albers was placed on the paternity list.

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