The Chicago White Sox are making things interesting late, as they defeated the Cincinnati Reds 6-1 tonight to improve their record to 91-68 overall. The Houston Astros fell to the Tampa Bay Rays today, 7-0, as the South Siders sit just 1 1⁄2 games back of the Astros in the fight for home-field advantage in the American League Division Series.
Tonight was the true test to see how Carlos Rodón was feeling going into the playoffs, and he sure didn’t disappoint.
Rodón came out sharp, striking out the first batter of the game. He continued to dominate in the top of the second, only allowing a walk as he struck out Aristides Aquino to end the inning.
Sonny Gray was on the mound for the Reds tonight, and had a great 1-2-3 inning in the first, as well as the second. It wasn’t until the bottom of the third inning that the White Sox got their first hit, as Leury García reached base, followed by another Gavin Sheets home run.
Well, it looks like Sheets loves Guaranteed Rate Field, as that was his second home run in two days. If you are going against him and are a right-handed pitcher, good luck.
Rodón allowed a leadoff double to Tyler Stephenson to open up the fourth inning, but was able to escape without any damage because, well, he still is one of the best pitchers in the game.
The scoring continued in the bottom of the fourth inning, as José Abreu reached base after he was hit by a pitch, AGAIN. With two outs, a Yoán Moncada walk led to a single by Leury Legend to score Pito and extend the lead to 3-0.
Sheets wasn’t done for the night just yet, as he singled to left field to drive in Moncada to make it 4-0.
Rodón stayed in for the top of the fifth inning, producing another strikeout. In the bottom of the inning, Luis Robert stole his way around the bases after a one-out single. He stole second, advanced to third on a ground out by Abreu, and then stole home on a wild pitch by Gray.
That would be it for Gray, as he would be replaced by Jeff Hoffman. Gray lasted 4 ⅔ innings with five hits, five runs, and two walks.
If tonight was any sort of test for Rodón, you could say he passed with an A+. He was replaced by Michael Kopech to start the sixth inning, but Rodón successfully went five innings with just one hit, two walks, and four strikeouts as he picked up the win. With his velocity down, Rodón was wily enough to handcuff a solid offense.
Rodón ended his regular season 13-5, with a 2.37 ERA. In what was a breakout year from him, he ended it on a high note.
Kopech pitched three innings in relief, picking up three strikeouts while allowing just one hit. This may be a combination of pitchers that we see in the postseason, as it seemed like it worked very well tonight.
Also, Tim Anderson wasn’t done with the scoring just yet, as he threw a pasta party of his own in the bottom of the seventh inning, smashing a solo home run to right-center field.
Mike Wright came in to shut the door and secure the shutout, but allowed a one-out single to Kyle Farmer and two-out double to Delino DeShields to get the Reds on the board, 6-1. Tony La Russa wasn’t wasting any time, and brought in Garrett Crochet to secure the final out.
Well White Sox fans, here we are: One more series left in the regular season. It’s been a wild ride so far, and we will see the Detroit Tigers come into town to end the regular season starting on Friday. It will be Lance Lynn on the mound against Wily Peralta at 7:10 p.m. CT.
Come out to Guaranteed Rate Field to enjoy the last weekend of the season, as we inch closer and closer to playoff baseball. Enjoy the off-day tomorrow, and enjoy the win tonight!