On June 13, White Sox starter Jose Quintana was shelled by the Royals, giving up six runs in as many innings off eight hits.
In the seven starts since then, Quintana has pitched brilliantly. And, with the exception of Chris Sale, there is probably no other pitcher Chicago manager Robin Ventura would want on the mound as his team begins a three-game series with the first-place Tigers on Tuesday.
And, believe it or not, Quintana's numbers are actually more impressive than Sale's over those past seven starts. Opposing hitters have just a .188 average against Quintana over that span, while they're hitting .241 off Sale in that time. Quintana's ERA is marginally better as well.
Fortunately for the Tigers, they'll miss Sale during the three games at Comerica Park this week, facing Quintana, Hector Noesi and John Danks.
Far more enigmatic than Quintana has been Detroit's starter in Tuesday's opener, Anibal Sanchez. The right-hander has alternated wins and losses this month, victorious in his last start at Arizona. But the Diamondbacks garnered 11 hits off him in 6 1/3 innings, and Sanchez again ran into difficulty in the middle innings.
"We've seen that a few times in his last few starts," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "It's possible some guys tire gradually as the game goes on and some guys, all of a sudden ... they hit a wall, lose a little bit of the oomph behind the ball."
But the only member of the White Sox with more than 10 at-bats against Sanchez to have success is Alejandro De Aza, who is 4-for-11 against him. De Aza also broke up Minnesota's Yohan Pino's no-hit bid on Sunday with a fifth-inning single.
Quintana, on the other hand, hasn't had nearly the same success against current Tigers. Four Detroit players -- Rajai Davis, Ian Kinsler, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez -- are batting over .300 against Quintana, with Davis leading the way at .400.
Chicago begins the series eight games behind the division-leading Tigers.
White Sox: Starting pitching keeping team in Wild Card hunt
A month ago, it seemed that Chicago would surely be sellers at the trade deadline.
But now, with the club in striking distance of the American League's second Wild Card spot, that doesn't seem to be the case. The non-waiver Trade Deadline will pass on the day the White Sox leave Detroit.
According to manager Robin Ventura, it's the starting pitching that has kept his club in that race.
"If you get some outings like Noesi had [Friday] and you throw in Johnny, Sale and Q [Quintana], you have a chance to do that," Ventura said of his starting rotation. "I think any time you have a staff like that, you're going to be in some games and you can [make a run]."
Tigers: Jackson heating up as summer wears on
Something will have to give in the matchup between Austin Jackson and Quintana on Tuesday.
The Tigers outfielder is hitting just .211 off Quintana with a .286 on-base percentage in 19 at-bats.
But few pitchers have been able to retire Jackson consistently this month. He's batting .351 with 10 RBIs.
Jackson also entered the Tigers' Sunday game tied for the AL lead with 33 hits this month.
• The Tigers hold a 5-4 advantage in the season series over the White Sox.
• Jose Abreu went 1-for-3 with an RBI double off Sanchez in their last meeting.
• Detroit is coming off its only off-day until Aug. 18.
Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.