Carlos Rodon’s bid for second no-hitter denied, but White Sox complete series sweep
Rodon pitched seven innings of one-hit, one-run ball against the Tigers on Sunday. He got within eight outs of throwing his second no-hitter in two months, losing it on Eric Haase’s double just beyond the reach of left fielder Andrew Vaughn.
DETROIT — Left-hander Carlos Rodon was going for two.
The White Sox were going for a three-game sweep.
The Sox got the sweep. Rodon will have to settle for one no-hitter, at least for now.
Continuing on his All-Star path in the Sox’ 4-1 victory Sunday against the Tigers, Rodon was eight outs away from throwing his second no-hitter in two months, losing it on Eric Haase’s double just beyond the reach of left fielder Andrew Vaughn in the seventh inning.
Trying to join Johnny Vander Meer (in 1938), Allie Reynolds (1951), Virgil Trucks (1952), Nolan Ryan (1973) and Max Scherzer (2015) as the only major-leaguers to throw two no-hitters in the same regular season, Rodon reacted with dismay after Haase’s fly ball landed safely in the left-field corner after Vaughn’s long run. Vaughn had pinch-hit for Brian Goodwin in the fifth inning and replaced him in left.
But Rodon was probably more surprised when a 2-2 slider he had thrown to Haase moments earlier, which easily landed in the bottom of the strike zone, was called a ball by plate umpire Pat Hoberg.
Hoberg told Rodon on the field that he missed the call. Everyone with a PitchTrax box on their TV screen knew it.
“He just said, ‘I missed that pitch,’ and I said, ‘Hey, man, it is what it is.’ Wasn’t meant to be,” Rodon said. “And that’s a very good umpire. One of the best, I would say.”
A converted first baseman, Vaughn ran a good route, attempting to make it all moot. From his angle, Rodon for a moment thought he made the catch.
“That’s a tough play down the line, and left field in Detroit is a big field,” Rodon said. “Vaughn covered a lot of ground, and it’s not a ball I expected to be caught.”
Haase then advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Niko Goodrum’s sacrifice fly, cutting the Sox’ lead to 4-1. Rodon exited after completing seven innings, allowing one run and one hit, walking two and striking out nine. He threw 103 pitches, a count that would have forced manager Tony La Russa to make a tough decision.
“We were all pulling to have that problem,” La Russa said.
Rodon (6-2, 1.89 ERA) threw a no-hitter against the Indians on April 14 at Guaranteed Rate Field, the 20th in Sox history, and he said his stuff was better against Detroit. He touched 100 mph and commanded his biting slider.
“It seemed like [he was dominant] from the first pitch,” La Russa said. “First inning, everything was in sync. The ball was just jumping out of his hand, good command of three pitches.”
The Sox (41-24) completed the sweep heading into a stronger test, a three-game series against the Rays at Guaranteed Rate Field in a matchup of the top teams in the American League. The Sox have won 13 of 17 and are 29-9 against the Tigers since 2019.
Jose Abreu had an RBI single and Leury Garcia an RBI double on a bullpen day for the Tigers in which Kyle Funkhouser got the start. La Russa rested Tim Anderson, and the Sox won again with Danny Mendick and Garcia picking up the slack.
Evan Marshall pitched a perfect eighth inning with two strikeouts, and Liam Hendriks pitched a perfect ninth for his 17th save.