Since coming up from the minor leagues on Sept. 4 following productive stops at Class AA Birmingham and AAA Charlotte, Marcus Semien has done just about everything the White Sox are looking for.
Semien has made good contact at the plate, showed excellent speed and played second base, shortstop and third with few hiccups.
In Monday night’s 3-2 victory over the Blue Jays at U.S. Cellular Field — a makeup game from June 12 — Semien hit his first major-league home run, a 2-run shot on an 0-2 pitch from Toronto starter J.A. Happ in the second inning.
“It’s a great feeling,” Semien said. “I was really kind of nervous. Whenever you have a first-time anything in the big leagues, it’s kind of a great feeling. I’m just happy about it.”
Manager Robin Ventura isn’t quite ready to anoint Semien a starter next season, most likely at third base, but he likes what he has been seeing from the 23-year-old prospect.
“You’re seeing which guys kind of fit in moving forward and trying to turn it around and be a better team in the future,” Ventura said. “I think Marcus is making a good case for himself that he can play at this level.
“He’s not only swinging the bat, but even playing defense tonight he made some good plays. He just seems like a baseball player. He’s aware of what’s going on.”
After homering in the second inning, Semien reached on an infield single in the third. He also charged in from third base and threw out Adam Lind when Toronto was rallying in the eighth inning.
“I feel good about the way I’ve been playing,” said Semien, batting .342 with 3 doubles, a home run, 5 RBI and 6 runs scored over his last 11 games. “I try not to worry about making a case for myself or anything like that. I’m just focused on helping the team win, and I’m glad we got the win tonight.”
Jose Quintana delivered another strong outing for the White Sox on Monday night, and this time the left-handed starter was rewarded with the win.
Quintana (9-6), who already has set an American League record with 17 no-decisions this year, allowed 2 runs on 5 hits in 71⁄3 innings.
“I just want to do a good job and give the team a good opportunity to win,” Quintana said through a translator. “I take that as an opportunity every time I’m out there. As long as I can give the team an opportunity to win, that’s all I can ask of myself.”
Toronto manager John Gibbons was impressed with Quintana’s outing.
“He’s kind of your classic lefty,” Gibbons said. “He mixes speeds, moves it in and around. He’s got a quick arm; the ball gets on you. It’s more explosive than the radar gun will show you.
“He’s got a feel. You can tell he just knows what he’s doing out there.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.