MINNEAPOLIS -- Rookie left-hander Jose Quintana is looking at his start against the Detroit Tigers on Monday "as just another game.''
"I don't see it as putting pressure myself,'' Quintana said Sunday. "That's kind of how I go about it each outing. But I know it's an important game for us and so I'm going to go out there and do the best I can in order to help this team get a win.''
Important? No doubt.
The Sox lead the Tigers by one game going into Sunday's game against the Twins with 19 to play. The Indians play the Cleveland Indians this afternoon. The Sox will interrupt their three-city road trip to fly home tonight to face the Tigers in a makeup game for their rainout Thursday night.
Quintana (6-4, 3.52), originally scheduled to pitch Saturday, was pushed back to give him two extra days rest. He also had his best start in a while against the Tigers on Monday in the series opener, allowing one run on seven hits and two walks over 7 2/3 innings. In his previous two starts, Quintana allowed 12 runs over five innings.
"It especially feels good when management has confidence in me to go out there and perform so I'm going to go out there and do the best I can,'' Quintana said.
"It actually does feel good about this time of the season to get a couple of extra days. It gives your arm a little bit more strength so I'll feel good for tomorrow.''
Quintana has been successful pounding the inside of the strike zone to right-handed hitters. It became obvious to him that hitters have been looking for pitches on the inner half, and against the Tigers, he seemed to work on the outside corner more than usual.
"That's one of those adjustments I made and it kind of worked for me the last time we played them so I'm going to go along with the same game plan,'' he said. "I think they were looking more for the inside so I went out so I'm probably just going to do that again.''
Doug Fister (9-8, 3.49 ERA) will start Monday for the Tigers.