Pino, at age 30, became the oldest Twins player to make his major league debut, holding the White Sox to two runs in seven innings. Those two runs kept with an all-too-similar script for the Chicago starter.
“I say the same every time, I don’t have control about that,” Qunintana said of run support. “But one time that can change for me. But tonight I feel bad for my team not winning. Just keep going next win. The most important thing for the team is the win. If you throw a good game but your team doesn’t win, it’s not good because it’s for the team, not for you.”
Josh Willingham’s home run in the second, the first time in 10 starts that Quintana surrendered a long ball, gave Pino a brief lead. But after a walk by Gordon Beckham loaded the bases in the third, Connor Gillaspie smacked a two-run single into center field.
Gillaspie said an unknown pitcher like Pino had a distinct advantage when there’s no book on him to be had.
“We didn’t know anything about the guy,” Gillaspie said. “Give him credit, he pitched pretty well. Anybody that’s got a changeup has got an advantage. He did a good job today. We’ll have to get them tomorrow. It was a long day.”
Over the past nine games, Twins starters have a 2.41 ERA. Pino struck out seven and allowed five hits and one walk.
Pino struck out Jose Abreu the first two times he faced the rookie slugger. Abreu became the third-fastest to reach 20 home runs when he went deep Wednesday against San Francisco in his 58th career game.