It’s been feast or famine for the White Sox this season, but rarely in the same game as it was in Monday’s opener of a four-night series against the Detroit Tigers.

Fortunately for the Sox, it was famine then feast. The first five innings couldn’t have been more aggravating against Detroit starter Rick Porcello. The Sox got the leadoff man on base in three of those innings, and each time left him stranded at third; they left another stranded in scoring position at second. For anyone doubting the Sox, and that included plenty of the 30,287 in attendance, it made them seem more doubtful than ever.

Meanwhile Jose Quintana was scuffling, even though, with his deceptive, hesitating pitching motion, he was facing the Tigers for the first time and figured to have the advantage over them. He gave up four singles in the second and was lucky to escape with just one run scoring. He walked leadoff man Austin Jackson in the third, after getting ahead of him 0-2, and gave up another hit to Sox killer Ryan Raburn, at which point manager Robin Ventura had the bullpen up in this critical American League Central battle. Yet, when Quintana produced a double play off the bat of the Tigers’ feared Miguel Cabrera, and struck out Prince Fielder looking, it began a sequence in which he’d retire 16 of 17 and, at one point, ten in a row.

By the time Quintana walked a man in the eighth and turned the game over to the bullpen, the Sox had it in hand, 4-1.