Carlos Rodon strikes out 10, but Rangers tip White Sox 2-1 in 11 innings

SHARE Carlos Rodon strikes out 10, but Rangers tip White Sox 2-1 in 11 innings

Carlos Rodon struck out the side in the first and fifth innings Thursday night. AP

ARLINGTON, Texas – Carlos Rodon struck out 10 and allowed one run in six innings Thursday, but it wasn’t enough to give the White Sox a win that would have provided a second consecutive series win and a winning record on their 11-game road trip.

Shin-Soo Choo’s single to left field against Sox left-hander Dan Jennings in the 11th inning scored Leonys Martin from second base, giving the Rangers a 2-1 victory, sending the Sox home with a 5-6 record on a tough trip.

“We wish we would have gotten this one tonight,” manager Robin Ventura said. “It would have put us over the edge of being able to survive, but you survive. They battled. I’ll give them that.”

Rodon battled in a big spot for a 22-year-old left-hander, responding by pitching out of trouble three times, scattering five hits and three walks.

A career high in strikeouts was heady stuff for a rookie who didn’t pitch like one. He was the youngest Sox pitcher with 10 or more strikeouts in a game since Jason Bere, at 22, fanned 12 California Angels in 1993.

“He continued to battle, it showed a lot of who he is and what he’s about,’’ Ventura said.

“We had a lot of guys on base. It could have been won earlier on both sides but we have to get a hit and knock in a run with some guys in scoring position.’’

Rodon, who lowered his ERA to 3.12 a night after Chris Sale struck out 12 Rangers in seven innings and a year after he was drafted third overall, had to work hard early. He gave up a run in the first inning on Prince Fielder’s single past second baseman Carlos Sanchez’s outstretched glove, allowing Delino Shields (leadoff double) to score. But after the first three Rangers batters had reached base in the first, giving Texas a chance to get more than one run with runners at the corners and no outs, Rodon struck out Mitch Moreland, Elvis Andrus and Joey Gallo in succession.

In the second, the Rangers loaded the bases on a bunt single by Martin, a single to center by Hanser Alberto and a walk to Choo, but with two outs Rodon got Fielder on a ground ball to Sanchez — who made a nice play going to his left.

The Sox tied it in the fourth against right-hander Yovani Gallardo on Gordon Beckham’s sacrifice fly that scored Garcia, who had reached on third baseman Joey Gallo’s throwing error. Rodon’s 108th and last pitch retired Martin on a comebacker to the mound with Andrus on third in the sixth and the score tied at 1.

Rodon’s previous high for strikeouts was eight Cincinnati Reds on May 9. He became the first Sox rookie since Hector Santiago in 2012 to strike out 10.

On this night, five of the nine Rangers hitters in the starting lineup were left-handed, a tough matchup for his hard slider. Of his 108 pitches, 40 were sliders according to BrooksBaseball, and nine of those were used on strikeout pitches.

“The feel is coming back for it,’’ Rodon said. “It has been improving and just getting it over for strikes really helps, too.”

“That’s a tough lineup for sure. One of the best I’ve faced obviously.”

Right-hander Daniel Webb pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings in relief, getting the game to the 11th inning. Zach Putnam was unavailable because of an irritated thumb, and Ventura chose not to use closer David Robertson in a tie game on the road.

“We were short tonight, with Robby if you put him in there you know you’re only going to get him for that inning,’’ Ventura said.

The Sox had six hits, all singles, and were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. The Rangers used six pitchers, including Tanner Scheppers (2-0), who got the last six outs.


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