Carlos Rodon thwarts Astros as White Sox skip 20 games over 0.500
Left-hander Carlos Rodon continues to reach new heights.
The White Sox too.
On his first start after the all-star break, Rodon struck out 10 and allowed a hitting in seven scoreless innings to lead the Sox to a 4-0 victory over the Astros on Sunday. After losing the first five games to the Astros this season, the Sox have won back-to-back games against a team they may have to beat in October.
While there are still over two months left in the regular season, it was important for the Sox to have some success against the Astros. They did, winning the series despite dropping the opener on Friday.
“I think we needed it,” said Rodon. We had to take this series and prove that we can beat them and that we are as good as them. I think that will lead to the season and the rest of the second half. Something we can build. ”
The Sox improved to 20 games over 0.500 (56-36) for the first time this season and for the first time since August 26, 2008.
Rodon, who was forced to win a spring training battle for fifth place in the rotation, was instrumental in that success, winning his first All-Star selection. Sunday was his fourth double-digit strikeout of the season, and he set a team record with his 10th straight game with eight or more strikeouts.
Rodon was supported by a home run from Tim Anderson, who tied his personal best with a 15-game hitting streak. Anderson also scored a hit and a run in his 11th straight game, breaking Adam Eaton’s team record set in 2015. Yoan Moncada hit his first home run since June 3, and Danny Mendick and Adam Engel have scored points in singles.
Rodon however set the tone.
“The thing we all noticed, from first pitch to first batter, he was doing it with his best tricks, very aggressive,” said Sox manager Tony La Russa. You could tell he had respect for this team because he was ready to throw. He kept it up for seven. ”
Rodon picked up where right-hander Lucas Giolito left off with his full-game victory on Saturday. In the last two games, the Sox starters pitched 16 innings and allowed one run and four hits.
Combined with perfect innings from relievers Michael Kopech and Liam Hendriks, the Sox allowed just one scorer. It happened when Abraham Toro picked just one in the third.
“Obviously Lucas really set the tone for us last night, sort of changing the tone and turning that course,” Kopech said. “Getting a win against these guys is obviously huge, and getting a full game is even more impressive. And so I think we’ve all kind of taken that energy into today. I know Carlos did. He does what he does on every exit – went there and dominated. And it was a lot of fun to watch. ”
Even with their injuries, things have generally been a lot of fun for the Sox this season. They have run well ahead of the rest of the Central American League and have been on track for their Premier League title since 2008.
To accomplish what they really want to accomplish, however, they’ll need to beat teams like the Astros on a more regular basis. This weekend – boosted by two cornerstones of their rotation – could be a start.
“It’s a very good team,” said Rodon. It’s a team we’ll likely see in the playoffs. They’re tough from top to bottom, and it builds confidence when you start like that. You continue.”