DETROIT -- Jose Abreu is not surprised by the seven straight quality starts Carlos Rodon has put together, including the left-hander's eight innings during a 6-5 White Sox victory over the Tigers Wednesday at Comerica Park.
In fact, the White Sox leader might not even have be impressed by Rodon's strong outing only because Abreu knows the immense talent and potential the southpaw possesses.
"I still think he can do more," said Abreu of Rodon through interpreter Billy Russo. "We all know the talent he has and how good he is.
"We are just watching the tip of the iceberg. He's a very good pitcher. Right now, it's just the beginning of him of the quality he has."
Rodon worked eight innings for the second straight start and has recorded quality starts in seven straight trips to the mound. Rodon yielded three runs, the first time he's allowed more than two runs since June 30, but he struck out six and walked one.
According to Statcast™, Rodon threw 25 changeups and 24 sliders among his 105 pitches. He recorded seven swinging strikes on the slider and four on the change.
"It's such a right-handed dominated lineup, that's a pitch that has to be there to be effective, get early outs and be able to go deep," said Rodon of his change. "Luckily today I had it, got ground-ball outs and fly balls, and it worked out."
A telling moment in Rodon's maturation into an ace came in the third. With runners on second and third and one out, Rodon threw an 0-2 pitch to Jeimer Candelario clearly marked as a strike by Statcast™. The pitch was called a ball, Rodon hit Candelario with the next pitch, and the Tigers scored three runs in the inning.
But Rodon settled down immediately and held the Tigers scoreless the rest of the way.
"When I was younger I'd throw a fit and be out of there," Rodon said. "I've been in that situation before where I don't get that call, and I'm out of the game in the third or the fourth.
"Sometimes you have to play with some adversity and just go for the boys, man. You have to pull through, say 'so what' and get the next guy. I tried to not let it get to me in the moment. I gave up three runs but ended up going deep in the game."
Matt Davidson, who had two homers in his last 23 games entering Wednesday, went deep in the fourth against Jordan Zimmermann to erase a 3-2 deficit and give the White Sox a 4-3 lead. He finished with three hits.
The Tigers sent seven batters to the plate in the ninth inning, scoring two runs before Luis Avilan induced a flyout from Victor Reyes to end the game. It left the White Sox with a 5-1 record in their last six road games and a series win in Detroit. Rodon is 3-0 and 1.41 ERA over his last six starts.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Abreu pushing toward history: Abreu has a chance to become part of a very exclusive club, as he could join Jose Pujols and Joe DiMaggio as the only Major Leaguers with at least 25 home runs and 100 RBIs in five straight seasons to start their respective careers.
Abreu took another step toward that milestone Wednesday, as he homered and drove in three. The White Sox first baseman, who started as designated hitter against Zimmermann, now has 21 home runs and 73 RBIs on the season with 42 games to play.
"I don't think about that," said Abreu of the individual milestone. "Now my focus is just to perform, have good at-bats and try to do my best to help this team to win games."
Although Rodon once again came close, the White Sox have not had a complete game since Chris Sale on Sept. 16, 2016, covering a stretch of 297 games.
"We knew that when he went out into the eighth that we had somebody ready just in case it started getting out of hand," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "You could see that he was working to get through that inning. And he did a nice job."
HE SAID IT
"He's one of the happiest guys on this team. He's always trying to have fun. It's good to have people like him in the clubhouse that makes the atmosphere loose. It's always good."-- Abreu, on Yolmer Sanchez, who had three hits Wednesday and pretended to join in one of the umpires' review while using his batting helmet as the headphones
James Shields will make career start No. 398 and appearance No. 400 when he takes the mound against his former team Friday at 7:10 p.m. CT for the opener of a short homestand vs. Kansas City. Jakob Junis gets the start for the Royals. Shields has thrown at least six innings in 18 of his past 21 starts, and he has allowed four runs in 13 innings in August.