Rodon far from perfect, but White Sox outslug Indians

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago White Sox third-base coach Joe McEwing, left, congratulates Jose Abreu after Abreu hit a solo home run in the fourth inning in a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, in Cleveland.

    Chicago White Sox third-base coach Joe McEwing, left, congratulates Jose Abreu after Abreu hit a solo home run in the fourth inning in a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, in Cleveland. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 4/20/2021 10:12 PM

Carlos Rodon would have loved a repeat performance, but he knew what he was up against Tuesday night at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

"It definitely wasn't easy," the White Sox's starting pitcher said. "You could tell they were battling on every pitch. They just saw me the last time out, see me again six days later. It's not easy, but it's part of the job."

 

Less than a week after throwing a no-hitter against the Indians at Guaranteed Rate Field, Rodon did keep the streak going through the first two innings.

Jordan Luplow ended the suspense with a leadoff home run in the third, but Rodon and the Sox did manage to emerge with an 8-5 win.

"Definitely a grind," Rodon said.

It started right out of the gate, when Luplow led off the first inning a 9-pitch walk.

There was another walk in the first for Rodon, followed by a free pass in the third inning that further swelled his pitch count.

"It wasn't an easy game for him," manager Tony La Russa said. "A lot of plus guts marks therefore. We've talked about it, man. In this league, mental and physical toughness is what make productive pitchers and players. He's showing it."

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In last week's no-hitter, which was nearly a perfect game, Rodon was on cruise control while throwing 114 pitches.

In his rematch against Cleveland starter Zach Plesac Tuesday, Rodon kept grinding the clutch while throwing 110 pitches over 5 innings.

"Today was a little shaky with command, but there are going to be plenty of starts like today," said Rodon, who is 3-0 with a 0.47 ERA over 3 starts. "I'm sure this won't be the last one this year, a grind, I walk a few guys or throw a lot of pitches in an inning. It's part of the game and it's just something you have to adjust to over every start.

"Some days will be good and some days I won't have it, some days I'll have everything."

The White Sox's defense was also shaky, particularly Yasmani Grandal with 2 errors on catcher interference calls and a passed ball.

But the bats were booming, and Jose Abreu snapped out of a 3-for-21 slump with 2 solo home runs and an RBI single.

Tim Anderson and Grandal also homered.

"Dangerous, man," Anderson said of Abreu. "A huge bat in the lineup. Once he gets going, pretty much everybody else is rolling as well. So for him to come up with 3 big hits tonight, it definitely says that bat's coming around."

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