Rodon not making any excuses after sluggish start in White Sox's loss to Indians
After Thursday afternoon's 5-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians at Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria tossed a metaphorical golf ball to Carlos Rodon, as if to say, "Take a mulligan."
Back in the Sox's rotation following a difficult 2017 season that ended with arthroscopic surgery in late September, the expectations for Rodon are far from high at the moment.
"Not to make any excuses for him, but it's kind of like a little bit of spring training," Renteria said. "He's trying to get himself into some rhythm."
Rodon labored in his return to the mound against the Red Sox at Fenway Park last Saturday, allowing 4 runs in 5 innings.
It was pretty much the same thing Thursday, when the 25-year-old lefty threw 100 pitches over 5 innings and gave up 2 runs on 2 hits, 2 walks and 2 hit batters while throwing 100 pitches.
"After we told him he was done for the day, he was like, 'I've got to be better,'" Renteria said.
The expectations are just that as he moves forward, but Rodon thinks he should be completely up to speed at this early stage of his comeback.
"I don't want to make that excuse," Rodon said of being only 2 starts into his season. "When you show up at this level, it's time to compete."
Rodon did settle in a bit after Francisco Lindor led off the game with a home run.
"Lindor has got me before," Rodon said. "Solo homer. Have to say so what and move on to the next guy."
While he did go deep in nearly every count to force the early exit, Rodon was pleased with his slider and four-seam fastball.
"I kind of found a groove," he said. "But I need to be more consistent. Falling behind, putting myself in bad situations, I have to go deeper in the game for the team. Not my best."
In the bottom of the first inning, Jose Abreu erased Lindor's homer with a 2-run shot off Indians starter Mike Clevinger.
The White Sox were undoubtedly thinking about winning 3 of 4 from first-place Cleveland in the series and improving to 9-4 in June, but Rodon walked home the tying run in the third inning and the Indians went ahead for good in the in the seventh on Jose Ramirez's home run off Chris Volstad.
The 2-run shot ended the Sox bullpen's scoreless streak at 25⅓ innings.
"We have been doing a better job during this month, we have been working hard and I think the results have been better for us," Abreu said through a translator. "We still need to keep working hard and grinding and doing the things that we know that we can do as a team to get more wins. That's the goal."
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