CHICAGO — If Jose Quintana pitched his final game in a Chicago White Sox uniform on Thursday night, then he went out in style.
Chris Archer overcame a shaky seventh inning to avoid becoming the majors’ first 20-game loser since 2003 and lead the Tampa Bay Rays past the White Sox, 5-3.
Chicago (77-82) clinched its fourth consecutive losing season under manager Robin Ventura, whose future with the team is uncertain.
Quintana turned in another workmanlike performance in his final start of the season, allowing two runs and five hits over six innings.
“Yeah, I’m happy with my year. You know, I get more innings, better ERA,” said Quintana, who finished with a 13-12 record, 3.20 ERA and his first All-Star Game selection. “My preparation was better this year. More experience.”
Quintana’s name has been mentioned often in trade speculation, as the rebuilding White Sox are expected to be active in the offseason.
“I don’t have control about that,” Quintina said. “I’m here with the Chicago White Sox and I want to be here a long time.”
The White Sox had their five-game winning streak end despite Carlos Sanchez’s two-out, two-run homer in the seventh.
“(Quintana) has elevated himself into that elite status with a lot of guys in the league,” Ventura said. “He’s just consistent. (Despite) everything he has been through, a lack of run of support, he continues to go out with just the same attitude and humility and all that stuff that goes with it.”
Archer (9-19) allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings to help the Rays snap a six-game skid and leave Detroit’s Mike Maroth as the only pitcher to lose 20 games this century.
“Honestly, I never let those types of things creep into my mind,” Archer said. “It’s pointless to think about negatives. I’m just glad I don’t have to answer the question. The team picked me up tonight.”
Mikie Mahtook hit a solo homer in the fourth off Quintana and doubled and scored in a three-run seventh off Chicago’s shaky bullpen.
Archer got the first two outs of the seventh, but a walk, Sanchez’s homer and Leury Garcia’s double ended his night. With rain starting to fall, Brad Boxberger got Adam Eaton to ground out with the tying run on.
Erasmo Ramirez worked the eighth amid a steady rain before the umpires called for the tarp. After a 35-minute delay, Alex Colome got the final three outs for his 36th save.
Eaton’s groundout to lead off the sixth put Archer over 200 innings for the second consecutive season. But it’s been nothing like 2015, when Archer was an All-Star and fifth in the Cy Young Award voting.
While Archer has pitched better in the second half of the season, he’s gotten little support. Tampa Bay scored two or fewer runs in 15 of his 19 losses.
Archer’s five strikeouts gave him 233, second in the AL behind Detroit’s Justin Verlander. He finished with eight consecutive quality starts and a 4.02 ERA.
Alexei Ramirez’s RBI single against his former team in the second ended Tampa Bay’s 41-inning streak of not holding a lead.
Ramirez also singled and scored in the seventh as the Rays got to relievers Juan Minaya and Dan Jennings to build a 5-1 lead.
Ventura had hinted that ace Chris Sale’s season was over after Tuesday’s victory. That changed when the left-hander asked to start Sunday’s season finale against Minnesota.
“I think that’s a good testament to finishing out the year and doing it right,” Ventura said.
Maroth went 9-21 for the 2003 Tigers, who finished 43-119. Before that, Oakland’s Brian Kingman in 1980 was the last to lose 20.
Rays: In his second game back from a bruised hand, CF Kevin Kiermaier went 3 for 5 and made a running catch of Sanchez’s drive with a runner on to end the game. Manager Kevin Cash before the game called Kiermaier “the best defensive player in baseball” and campaigned for a Gold Glove.
White Sox: 2B Tyler Saladino (back) won’t play again this season. “We’ve got to figure out a way to get him right before he heads home,” Ventura said.
Rays: Three games at NL West champion Texas to close the season. RHP Matt Andriese (8-7, 4.34 ERA) faces Rangers RHP Yu Darvish (6-5, 3.53) on Friday night.
White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon (8-10, 4.08) starts Friday night against last-place Minnesota and RHP Tyler Duffey (9-11, 6.18).