It would’ve been nice to see the White Sox rewarded with a win over the mighty Los Angeles Dodgers thanks to features like seven gutsy innings by Carlos Rodon and a two-homer game by Nicky Delmonico.
Instead, the White Sox gave us a cartoonish version of the likely outcome from sending a three-headed closer to face a team that’s 49-9 since early June.
Without anybody resembling a high-leverage reliever, Rick Renteria tried protecting a 4-2 lead playing the matchups. Gregory Infante started the inning with a routine flyout to start the inning, after which Aaron Bummer entered to face Cody Bellinger.
Bellinger grounded a single through the infield. While it looked innocuous, it led to Rick Renteria calling on Jake Petricka.
That probably shouldn’t happen again, Petricka’s 16 career saves and all.
Logan Forsythe ripped a double to left to make it a 4-3 game. Austin Barnes then shot a single to center hit too hard for Forsythe to score, and Yasiel Puig ended it with a gap-splitting double. The former ground ball specialist gave up three line drives — 96, 97 and 104 mph.
Juan Minaya looks like the best option for such situations at this point, but Renteria used him for the eighth inning with that 4-2 lead (corrected). Minaya was lifted for a pinch hitter when his spot in the order came around, but even then, he threw an inning-plus yesterday. There’s only so much of him to go around.
The disastrous ninth overshadowed a highly enjoyable eight innings. Rodon once again found a way to gain efficiency after some erratic control in the middle innings. He lost a 2-1 lead with a Kiké Hernandez homer leading off the fourth, and looked on the verge of losing the thread with a walk. A double play erased that, and then when he issued his second walk of the inning, Omar Narvaez erased it with a CS.
From there, he needed just 35 pitches to get through the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. That included a mini-jam in the sixth, as Justin Turner singled with one out, stole second, and Hernandez walked. Rodon came back to get a double play thanks to an excellent turn by Yoan Moncada, and faced no trouble over the last four batters. He capped off his game with a three-pitch K of Chase Utley in the eighth.
Rodon’s line: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.
He outpitched Yu Darvish, who set a career low with just two strikeouts over six innings. He gave up three runs -- all on solo homers, including the White Sox’ second consecutive first-pitch homer (Leury Garcia on this one). Darvish also gave up five other hits, as well as a couple hard-hit balls that found corner-infield gloves, and left trailing 3-2.
He departed under odd circumstances, shaking Dave Roberts’ hand after a dugout conversation between innings, taking warmup tosses to start the seventh, and then leaving with a trainer after his last one. Darvish exited under no apparent distress and Brandon Morrow got unlimited warmup tosses, which made Eric Stephen at True Blue LA think it was a stalling tactic.
Whatever the case, it worked for Morrow in the seventh, but Delmonico blew up Tony Watson with his second solo shot in the eighth. In between the dingers was a single, giving Delmonico a .388 average and a 1.088 OPS over his first 13 games. He’s reached base in every one.
Record: 45-72 | Box score