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Shaky 4th sinks Rodon, White Sox in Game 1

Renteria downplays Rodon's blister issue
@scottmerkin
May 1, 2019

CHICAGO -- For a second straight start, Carlos Rodón was not sharp. But in a 5-4 loss to the Orioles during Game 1 of a doubleheader Wednesday at Guaranteed Rate Field, it was one inning in particular that cost the White Sox Opening Day starter. Rodon struck out five over

CHICAGO -- For a second straight start, Carlos Rodón was not sharp.

But in a 5-4 loss to the Orioles during Game 1 of a doubleheader Wednesday at Guaranteed Rate Field, it was one inning in particular that cost the White Sox Opening Day starter.

Rodon struck out five over three scoreless innings, including striking out the side in the third, but needed 41 pitches in a fourth inning he couldn’t finish. The Orioles scored three in the frame, significantly cutting into Chicago's four-run cushion.

In those 3 2/3 innings, Rodon walked two, struck out six and threw 59 of his 89 pitches for strikes. During Friday’s White Sox comeback against the Tigers, Rodon allowed eight runs on nine hits over three-plus innings and needed 85 pitches during the effort.

Rodon seemed to be looking at his pitching hand on a number of occasions during Game 1, but White Sox manager Rick Renteria said it was a manageable blister problem that tends to pop up in every one of his starts.

“He has something that he's always dealing with but it's under control. It's a little blister that develops on the finger, and they put something in it,” Renteria said. “We tried to get him out more than anything because it was a lot of pitches. He was leaving pitches out over, they were obviously doing a lot with it. They were able to keep the line moving and score enough runs to be able to put us in a situation where I had to take him out.”

Evan Marshall, who had his contract purchased from Triple-A Charlotte prior to the doubleheader, threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings in his debut. But the Orioles tied the game against Jace Fry and won it against Kelvin Herrera in the eighth on a Jonathan Villar sacrifice fly.

The White Sox grabbed a 4-0 lead with José Abreu doubling home a run in the first and singling home a run in the third. The Orioles also committed three errors that contributed to three unearned runs. The lead could have been even greater, but Abreu was thrown out at third on a missed squeeze attempt with Nicky Delmonico at the plate in the third.

Renteria said the call on that play was a safety squeeze and Delmonico didn’t need to bunt at it unless it was a strike, but Abreu kept coming. A three-game winning streak came to an end for the White Sox, in a game where the temperature dropped 10 degrees.

“I will say there was a change in temperature. I don't know if it was 15 or 20 degrees, it definitely dropped and we felt it,” Renteria said. “You really don't think about it. You sense it and keep playing.”

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.