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Rodon's dominant start leads White Sox to win

MLB.com

OAKLAND -- White Sox lefty Carlos Rodon picked up his first win of the season, fanning 10 and stringing together 6 1/3 strong innings against the A's in a 7-2 series-opening victory at the Coliseum on Monday evening.

Making just the second start of his 2017 campaign after being sidelined by a left biceps injury, Rodon rebounded from a laborious, two-run second inning to retire 14 of his final 18 batters, including a stretch of 11 in a row. He yielded just four hits, including Adam Rosales' two-run single.

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OAKLAND -- White Sox lefty Carlos Rodon picked up his first win of the season, fanning 10 and stringing together 6 1/3 strong innings against the A's in a 7-2 series-opening victory at the Coliseum on Monday evening.

Making just the second start of his 2017 campaign after being sidelined by a left biceps injury, Rodon rebounded from a laborious, two-run second inning to retire 14 of his final 18 batters, including a stretch of 11 in a row. He yielded just four hits, including Adam Rosales' two-run single.

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"My command was better -- way, way better," Rodon said. "It started off a little shaky, but I built some confidence throughout the start, too, so that kind of helped."

Video: CWS@OAK: Watch Rodon's 10 K's in 10 seconds

A's right-hander Jharel Cotton took the loss, relinquishing a 2-1 lead in the third inning, when third baseman Todd Frazier notched his second double of the game, bringing in two runs to highlight the three-run frame that put the White Sox ahead for good. Chicago's Willy Garcia and Melky Cabrera added RBI doubles in the eighth, as Oakland's losing streak extended to a season-high six games in front of an announced crowd of 40,019 -- most for a regular-season A's game since Sept. 4, 2005.

Video: CWS@OAK: Melky sends RBI double down the line

"That's what was really disappointing," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We really didn't do anything well. If you swing the bats, it kind of hides some of the other issues you might have. We didn't swing the bats. You're not going to win with four or five hits or whatever we got tonight, and we didn't do anything else very well, too. It's disappointing because when they come out like that and we do some good things, our fans really are part of what gets us going. They can rattle the other team. We just gave them nothing to root about tonight, unfortunately."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Two-out triumphs: The White Sox struck with two outs in consecutive innings to take control of the game. They were first on the board in the second, which began with Frazier's first two-bagger. Frazier advanced to third on a wild pitch, where he watched Cotton tally two outs before Tim Anderson brought him home with a base hit. Cotton had two outs yet again in the third, when back-to-back doubles by Frazier and Matt Davidson led to three runs.

Video: CWS@OAK: Davidson smashes an RBI double to the gap

"It's irritating, because it's two outs and two strikes, and you just want to get that putaway pitch," Cotton said. "They got the big hits with two strikes. I got to get better at that. It's something I'll work on and get better at, for sure. I'm trusting the process. I want to learn as much as I can, and I'm going to learn from this. I need to bear down in those situations."

On his at-bats, Frazier said, "The first at-bat, that was pure luck. It was a ball high and I never should have even swung at it. You've got to take all those when you can -- I've had a lot of line-drive outs. I'll take that double, and the next one I saw a lot better and I got another double out of that and a couple of RBIs, and away we went and there goes my day."

Video: CWS@OAK: Frazier swats a two-run double to left

What a relief: The A's had their own opportunity to deliver with two outs in the seventh, when rookie Matt Chapman stepped to the plate with runners at second and third opposite Anthony Swarzak. Chapman, reinstated from the DL before the game, worked a seven-pitch at-bat against the right-hander, who won the battle by getting the third baseman to whiff on a 95-plus mph fastball for the third out to end the threat. The A's struck out 13 times.

"Swarzak bailed me out at the end there, with a big, big strikeout on Chapman," Rodon said. "He's a good hitter. It was a big-time strikeout, so thanks, Swarzak."

Video: CWS@OAK: Swarzak K's Chapman to strand a pair

"When we play well, we hit home runs but we also strike out a lot," Melvin said. "It's been an Achilles' heel for us. We continuously work on our two-strike approach and we will continue to. But we're not all that good about just trying to put the ball in play with two strikes and maybe another team will make a mistake. When you strike out, no one's going to make a mistake."

QUOTABLE
"He did a very nice job, obviously. We were talking before the game today that we were hoping to get an efficient outing out of him. He settled down, got strikes and all his stuff was working pretty good. I think it was a really good sign for him." -- White Sox manager Rick Renteria, on Rodon's start

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Rodon's 10-strikeout night marked the first time a White Sox pitcher struck out double-digit A's hitters in Oakland since Jack McDowell fanned 10 on Aug. 8, 1994.

WHAT'S NEXT
White Sox: Right-hander James Shields will face the A's at 3:05 p.m. CT on the Fourth of July at the Coliseum. Shields earned the win against the Yankees his last time out, giving up two runs in 6 1/3 innings Thursday.

A's: Rookie right-hander Daniel Gossett takes his turn Tuesday in a 1:05 p.m. PT Fourth of July matchup with the White Sox at the Coliseum. Gossett recorded the loss in his last start against Houston on Thursday, allowing five runs in as many innings.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the White Sox on Monday. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.

Jharel Cotton, Todd Frazier, Carlos Rodon