Turnabout is fair play, it seems.
One day after the Chicago White Sox exploded for a season-high six runs in the eighth inning to storm back for a win, the Toronto Blue Jays exacted their revenge with a five-spot in the top of the ninth to topple the Sox, 7-4.
It took an ill-advised attempt to stretch an RBI single into a double — resulting in a very scary-looking knee injury to multihit game-streak maven Lourdes Gurriel Jr. — to mercifully end the Jays assault.
The late Toronto rally started off of Jace Fry, finished off Jeanmar Gómez — and wasted a killer effort by Carlos Rodón in the process.
Fry, characterized as the “de facto closer” by Steve Stone as he entered the ninth for the save, blew that very facto opportunity just one batter into the attempt, as Teoscar Hernánadez smashed a 1-0 fastball deep to tie the game at three — and scuttle Rodón’s win. Just a half-inning earlier, exit velocity king Matt Davidson saw a similar clout cut down by a tough wind at Sox Park, so you know Hernandez smacked the stuffing out of Fry’s ball.
Fry’s abbreviated outing consisted of that homer, a HBP and double, exiting his de facto closing assignment just three disastrous batters in.
Gómez entered in almost the worst situation possible, ducks on the pond with none out in a tie game. Brandon Drury greeted Gómez with a two-run double that could not have been hit harder, giving Toronto a 5-3 lead and bringing home what would become the deciding runs of the game. A double and single would add insult to injury, and push Toronto to seven runs.
Daniel Palka smashed a pinch-homer, and Omar Narváez blooped a single to start the makings of a ninth-inning rally, but it was snuffed.
The best news to come out of this late abomination, however, is Rodón showing every indication he’s in line for a killer second half. While little about the South Siders is certain these days, one truth is becoming self-evident: Carlos Rodón is the White Sox ace.
With a third straight stellar start and nine of 10 this season where he put up at least an average performance, the crafty southpaw with a bar brawler’s countenance has seized control of this White Sox pitching staff. Rodón even has stolen the innings-eater moniker from Big Game, now having gone seven and change in three straight starts.
On Sunday, Rodón was again at his Mario Bros. best, spinning 7 2⁄3 innings and six Ks, while surrendering just five hits, two earned, one walk and a homer, for a 68 game score. Rodón’s average game score through 10 starts stands at 58, and that’s not just above average, it’s heads and tails better than any other South Side hurler.
But today’s sudden reversal stalls Rodón at just three wins on the season, as the White Sox launch toward Monday’s time off and last full day before the trade deadline on a flatulent note.
Offensively, the White Sox were generally stymied by ex-Mundelein Mustang Ryan Borucki. The Mark Buehrle devotee continued his stellar rookie campaign by spinning six innings of two-run ball, with five Ks against a single walk and six hits, for a 61 game score.
Matt Davidson went 2-for-4, but only ninth-place hitter Narváez had a notable game, falling a double short of the cycle in a 3-for-4 effort. Since June 7, Narváez is hitting .420.