The changes in White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon from the first half to the second are easy to see in his numbers.
But infielder Tyler Saladino has seen the changes in a different way while playing behind him.
‘‘He’s commanding his pitches a lot better,’’ Saladino said. ‘‘The first half, his changeup wasn’t where he wanted it to be, and that’s a big thing. Once he got that, you could see he could throw it when he wants and where he wants. Having three pitches he can control makes a big difference.
‘‘You see him get to two strikes, and you know he has that good slider or can put someone away with his heater. You can see he’s in control. And you can see the confidence in him. Talking to him and seeing his progress, it’s been fun to watch.’’
Rodon displayed all of it in the Sox’ 4-1 victory Sunday against the Mariners. He allowed one run — a home run to Robinson Cano — and five hits, struck out six and walked one in six-plus innings.
With the Sox clinging to a 2-1 lead, manager Robin Ventura lifted Rodon after Kyle Seager and Franklin Gutierrez started the seventh with singles. He brought in Chris Beck to face Mike Zunino, whose bunt attempt turned into a force at second. After pinch hitter Adam Lind was announced, Ventura called on Dan Jennings, who got an inning-ending double play on his first pitch.
‘‘That was the big one that gave us a little momentum,’’ Ventura said of the double play. ‘‘And then to add on late was great.’’
The extra runs came in the eighth, when Melky Cabrera tripled home Tim Anderson before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Jose Abreu. That gave closer David Robertson a cushion, and he stranded two runners in the ninth on his way to notching his 33rd save.
‘‘I didn’t want to come out,’’ Rodon said. ‘‘But when you’ve got a manager who has done it for a while, he knows the game and what he’s doing. Obviously, it worked out.
‘‘I owe some people for making great plays. Hats off to them and a great call by Robin.’’
Equal kudos belonged to Rodon (5-8), who continued his second-half turnaround with his third consecutive victory.
‘‘Carlos is really evolving,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘As he goes along, he just seems to be getting better. There’s more confidence there. He’s learning a lot about himself, as well, going through this.’’
Rodon’s rocky start featured a 2-7 record and seven no-decisions before the All Star break. Then came a stint on the disabled list with a sprained left wrist.
‘‘When you get your butt beat and then get a second chance, you want to make the most of it,’’ Rodon said. ‘‘The changeup has been better and just having more confidence. It’s always how you finish.’’
Rodon is 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA, 26 strikeouts and seven walks in his last five starts. The homer to Cano is the only one he has allowed during that stretch.
The only negative note for the Sox came in the fourth, when Mariners starter Taijuan Walker (4-9) hit leadoff man Adam Eaton in the right forearm. Eaton eventually scored on a two-run single by Justin Morneau, but he left the game in the fifth.
X-rays were negative, and Eaton is day-to-day.
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