CHICAGO (AP) — Mike Pelfrey came into Tuesday's game struggling and a team that appears to have his number kept him on a downward slope.
Pelfrey (5-13) lost his third consecutive start, giving up three runs in just 4 1-3 innings as the Minnesota Twins lost 4-3 to the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Pelfrey's early struggles had to do with a poor curveball and a slow pace that led to a 33-pitch second inning.
"You need to get quick outs," Gardenhire said. "As the game was going along - you guys saw it, we all felt it - it went nowhere. Ninety-six pitches in 4 1-3 innings, that's just too many pitches."
It was the second straight start Pelfrey got an early hook. In his last start, he was pulled in the fourth inning, after allowing seven earned runs in an 18-3 loss to Oakland. Pelfrey has a 10.13 ERA in 13 1-3 September innings.
"It sucks," Pelfrey said. "I thought April was bad, but if you look at the numbers, this is probably worse. It's definitely not how I envisioned finishing the year. Hopefully, I can try and finish on a positive note."
Pelfrey faced seven batters in the second, but only allowed one run on Marcus Semien's RBI single that gave the White Sox a 1-0 lead.
The Twins tied it in the third inning after White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham was unable to turn a double play, Brian Dozier stole second and scored on Trevor Plouffe's double.
But Pelfrey was unable to keep the White Sox in check as they took the lead back in the fifth. Alejandro De Aza led off with a single and scored from first on Alexei Ramirez's double. Dayan Viciedo followed with an RBI single to give Chicago a 3-1 lead.
Pelfrey was pulled after striking out Adam Dunn and giving up a single to Paul Konerko. Pelfrey dropped to 0-3 with 6.66 ERA in his career against the White Sox.
"I don't even know if I have a quality start against them," Pelfrey said. "It's obviously been a battle. I'm sure it's not going to be the last time I face them, I'm going to have to make a little adjustment or figure something out."
The White Sox were paced by Viciedo's three hits and two RBIs and Jose Quintana's six strong innings.
Quintana (8-6) won for the first time since he last faced the Twins, on Aug. 16. He allowed one run while scattering eight hits, striking out five and walking two. During his winless drought, Quintana was 0-2 in five starts. He had a 3.03 ERA over that stretch, while being backed by five total runs — two in the past four games.