CLEVELAND -- Carlos Rodon became the fifth straight White Sox starting pitcher to not issue a walk in his start, something the team’s rotation hasn’t done since 1972.
Rodon struck out nine over 6 2/3 scoreless innings in a 2-1 White Sox victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday. Key to his success was that the left-hander didn’t walk anyone, something Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Jeff Samardzija and John Danks hadn’t done in the previous four games, either. The White Sox have won four straight games and completed their first four-game sweep since 2010.
“They’ve been fantastic,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You have to have that to win multiple games in a row, you want your staff to pitch well and that’s part of it. Especially if you’re playing defense, you don’t want to walk anyone, you want to make them earn it. I think even today, Carlos made ‘em do that.”
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Of late, the White Sox defense has instilled confidence in the team’s pitchers after a horrendous start to the season. Rodon’s defense made two big plays behind him in the third inning to get the rookie out of his biggest jam. Jose Abreu started a rundown to catch Brandon Moss between third and home and Alexei Ramirez made a bare-hand stop and flip to start an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
On June 15, the White Sox ranked 29th of 30 with minus-43 Defensive Runs Saved, according to fangraphs.com. Headed into Sunday’s game, that total was down to minus-31, which moved them up to 28th.
“Abreu recognizes the runner moving with the baseball in sync, and he makes the throw. Great play,” Rodon said. “The defense played great. Great play by Alexei up the middle and a couple of other ones.”