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updated: 9/12/2013 12:11 AM

Can Semien solve Sox problems at third?

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  • Chicago White Sox starter Jose Quintana didn't get any run support on Wednesday night and came away with his 17th no decision of the season to lead both leagues.

      Chicago White Sox starter Jose Quintana didn't get any run support on Wednesday night and came away with his 17th no decision of the season to lead both leagues.
    Associated Press

  • Video: Ventura on Quintana's outing

 
 

A few weeks ago, we listed all of the third baseman the White Sox have run through since Joe Crede's standout career was cut short in 2007.

It was a lengthy list -- 22 players in all -- and not one of them came close to nailing down the position for the long haul.

Well, there's a new third baseman in town, and Marcus Semien is hoping the Sox won't have to keep searching for the next Crede.

"It's been great being up here," said Semien, who had his contract purchased from Class AAA Charlotte on Sept. 4. "I've been doing a lot of extra work and I'm trying to adjust as fast as I can. Just trying to slow the game down because I was kind of anxious at first when I came up. The game moves a little faster up here and there are a lot of guys who have been playing a long time in this league. I'm trying to blend and adjust as fast as I can."

Semien made his third start at third base in Wednesday night's 1-0 loss to the Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field. Batting ninth, he was 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts against a very good pitcher, Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez.

Playing well in the final month of a lost season can only improve Semien's future stock, but the 22-year-old infielder isn't looking that far ahead.

"I always focus on the day that's ahead of me," Semien said. "If I do what I need to do, hopefully they see good things. But I'm not even going to worry about next year at all."

What kind of player is Semien?

The best major-league third basemen have power, and Semien did hit a combined 19 home runs with Charlotte and AA Birmingham this season. But the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder also had 6 triples and 24 stolen bases to go along with a .284 batting average and 66 RBI in 137 minor-league games.

"I try to be as solid as I can at everything," said Semien, whose father Damien was a college wide receiver at Cal. "Nothing really came natural to me so I try to work on everything. I'll continue to do that because baseball's not an easy game so you have to stay on top of things."

Wasted gem:

Jose Quintana pitched well enough to win again Wednesday night.

Instead, the White Sox' 24-year-old starter came away with his 17th no decision -- the most in the major leagues.

Quintana pitched 7 shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 3.56. The Tigers' Anibal Sanchez pitched 713 shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 2.50.

"Both of them pitched great," Sox manager Robin Ventura said of the opposing starters. "Sanchez just pitched better."

The White Sox struck out 10 times against Sanchez and were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Adam Dunn was 0-for-4 with 4 strikeouts.

"A lot of the guys weren't swinging the bats very good," Ventura said. "(Sanchez's) ball seemed to be moving all over the place. Nobody really looked comfortable up there."

Actually, leadoff man Leury Garcia did very well, going 3-for-4 and stealing two bases. The switch-hitter, acquired from Texas in the Alex Rios trade, batted right-handed against the right-handed Sanchez due to a blister problem.

"You can see his speed and what he brings to the table," Ventura said of Garcia. "He's doing well."

Minor matters:

Playing in its first Southern League championship since 2002, Class AA Birmingham beat Mobile 8-1 in Game 1 Wednesday night.

Barons starter Chris Bassitt pitched 523 scoreless innings to get the win and leadoff hitter Micah Johnson was 2-for-3 with 3 walks and 2 RBI.

The day after:

Third baseman Conor Gillaspie was not in the starting lineup Wednesday, a day after he committed 3 errors in a 9-1 loss to the Tigers.

"I don't know what took over his body, but that's not the player that you see going in the future," manager Robin Ventura said of Gillaspie. "That's the tough part of playing the game, to be able to have nights like that and be able to put them behind and just keep going."

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