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Rodon looks to build off outing against Tribe

White Sox lefty's string of quality road starts snapped at 6
September 18, 2018

CLEVELAND -- Despite the final result, White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon is certain he made a step in the right direction on Tuesday night.Rodon struggled with consistency against a troublesome Indians lineup in a 5-3 loss at Progressive Field. Chicago has now lost seven of its last 10."I felt better

CLEVELAND -- Despite the final result, White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon is certain he made a step in the right direction on Tuesday night.
Rodon struggled with consistency against a troublesome Indians lineup in a 5-3 loss at Progressive Field. Chicago has now lost seven of its last 10.
"I felt better than I did the last outing," said Rodon, who walked five through six innings against the Royals on Wednesday. "Just didn't go my way tonight. Couple pitches I wish I had back. But mechanically and stuff, week to week, I feel better this start than I did the start before as far as consistency and command."
Rodon (6-6) was charged with five runs and scattered seven hits, while logging seven innings against the Tribe. He walked three, hit two batters and recorded one strikeout as his string of six straight quality starts on the road was snapped in the series opener.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria said the box score did no justice for Rodon, who made just his 18th start after missing the first two-plus months of the season recovering from a left shoulder injury. Given that Rodon is still trying to find his delivery, the skipper said there were plenty of positives to take away.
"Didn't look like he was throwing bad, actually," Renteria said. "Looked like he had good stuff, they just had some things open up on him."
Aside from a two-run second inning, Rodon was able to keep pace with Indians ace Corey Kluber, who efficiently held the White Sox hitless until the third. Kluber needed only 12 pitches to navigate the first two innings and 40 pitches to get through the first four. After a six-pitch first, Rodon needed 31 pitches to get through the second and he allowed four straight batters to reach, including run-scoring hits from Melky Cabrera and Yan Gomes to open scoring.
Kluber allowed all three runs on eight hits through eight innings. He struck out 11 for his career-high 19th win as he surpassed the 200-strikeout and innings plateaus for the fifth straight year.
"Vintage Kluber," Renteria said. "He stays below the zone and it's one of those things you have to make an adjustment with, otherwise he's gonna just continue to stay in there. And he goes to both sides of the plate very, very well."
Rodon was tagged for three more runs in the fifth, in which he needed 22 pitches to escape the frame. Jason Kipnis belted a 3-1 fastball over the right-field wall for his 16th home run of the season. Rodon then surrendered a single to Francisco Lindor and hit Jose Ramirez to set the table for a two-run single by Yandy Diaz that gave the Indians a 5-0 lead.

"I've faced this team quite a few times and I think this is one of the best lineups they've put up there since I've been playing against them," said Rodon, now 0-2 in four starts against the Tribe in '18. "That's a playoff team. That's why they're there."
Despite the minor setback, Rodon is 5-3 over his last 13 starts, logging 10 quality starts with a 2.87 ERA. But it was also his eighth start of at least seven innings, something that admittedly gives the 25-year-old something to take away.
"I didn't feel I was laboring too much," Rodon said. "Stuff was coming out easy, even though I didn't throw too many fastballs super hard. I just felt like I was a little more consistent than I had been. I'm just looking forward to making this next start."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The White Sox got on the board when Daniel Palka and Omar Narvaez connected for solo homers off Kluber in the sixth. Palka's 25th of the season traveled a projected 418 feet with an exit velocity of 105.8 mph, according to Statcast™.

Palka, who is one shy of tying Matt Davidson for the fourth-most homers by a rookie in franchise history, tied the Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. for the most by a rookie this season. Palka, who finished 1-for-4, is batting .350 (7-for-20) through the first seven games of this road trip, with four homers, six RBIs and five runs scored.
"I'm not trying to chase teenage phenoms," Palka joked. "I'm not too worried about it. I'm just going out there and doing what I can."

UP NEXT
White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey (5-13, 5.64 ERA) will start the middle game of this series against the Indians at 6:10 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Progressive Field. Covey is 0-6 with an 8.68 ERA over his past six starts and is 1-2 in six career appearances against the Tribe. Righty Carlos Carrasco (16-8, 3.41 ERA) starts for Cleveland.

Casey Harrison is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.