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Carlos Rodon strikes out Wilmer Flores in the first inning of the White Sox’ Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks Sunday. (Daryl Van Schouwen)

White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon inches closer to Opening Day

SHARE White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon inches closer to Opening Day
SHARE White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon inches closer to Opening Day

Diamondbacks 7, White Sox 3

Not his best stuff

Likely Opening Day starter Carlos Rodon was extended to 90 pitches over 5 1/3 innings, two of which were hit over the wall at Salt River Fields by former Sox Alex Avila and Eduardo Escobar, both on fastballs with the bases empty. He was charged with four runs, five hits and two walks while striking out three.

“I’ve seen his stuff when it’s lights-out, Cy Young-type stuff,’’ catcher James McCann said. “Was it that today? Probably not. This outing was about getting ready and working on things as much as anything.”

Rodon will make one more Cactus League start in preparation for his first one of the season. Manager Rick Renteria said he’ll announce his Opening Day starter Monday.

“I definitely wouldn’t mind it,” Rodon said. “Anyone on this staff would like to take the ball that day. We’ll see what happens.’’

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Rodon worked with a 90- to 93-mph fastball, and though he threw his slider for strikes, he didn’t have it clicking as a putaway pitch. It was the third start of the spring for Rodon, whose last one was rained out, sending him under cover for an 85-pitch simulated game instead. After this one, he threw more pitches in the bullpen to get his count to about 100.

Another rough outing

Nate Jones (15.43 ERA) struggled again with an outing that looked like this: walk, homer (Marcus Wilson), walk, single, strikeout. Jones’ velocity (94-95) is a few mph below his norm, and he has allowed four homers in 4 2/3 innings covering seven appearances.

Stay hot

McCann (.433) had two singles, and spring hot shot Danny Mendick (.370) singled and made a nice play at third base.

On deck

Giants at Sox, Glendale, 3:05 p.m., 720-AM, whitesox.com, Derek Holland vs. Manny Banuelos.

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