Carlos Rodon flipped his glove into the stands behind the third base dugout after the final frustrating inning of his last start before the All-Star break.
The 23-year-old left-hander allowed six runs (five earned) over five innings as the White Sox lost, 9-0, to the New York Yankees Tuesday night in front of 20,773 at U.S. Cellular Field. Rodon was touched up for 12 hits — plenty of which were line drives — and allowed two home runs with three strikeouts and two walks.
As for the glove: “Just give it to a fan, better than throwing it away,” Rodon said, with a bit of a chuckle.
After striking out Chase Headley with the bases loaded to end the top of the first, things began to unravel for the 2014 No. 3 overall pick. Carlos Beltran served an RBI single to right, then Tim Anderson’s first major league error allowed a second run to score in the second inning.
Headley blasted a two-run home run in the top of the third, and Mark Teixeira ripped a run-scoring double down the third base line in the fourth. Austin Romine hammered a 397-foot solo home run out to left in the fifth to account for New York’s final run against Rodon.
“It comes down to command,” manager Robin Ventura said. “This is the wrong lineup to be erratic and get behind. It just seemed like every hitter was 2-0, 2-1 and you just can't do it. They have too many good hitters and too many veteran hitters that take advantage of that.
“He's got to be better at being able to get ahead, get ahead early. His slider's not going to be effective if you're always behind and trying to get the swing and miss stuff.”
Rodon fell behind 15 of the 29 batters he faced, with those at-bats resulting in five hits (three doubles, a home run and an RBI single) and two walks. He was also victimized when the Yankees swung at the first pitch, giving up as many hits (two) as he generated swinging strikes.
Rodon threw his slider 28 percent of the time, exactly in line with his season average, but only generated three swings and misses on it, according to BrooksBaseball.net.
“His stuff was a little bit flat today as far as his slider,” catcher Alex Avila, who left the game in the sixth with a strained right hamstring and will be placed on the disabled list Wednesday, said. “Up in the zone quite a bit with his slider and his fastball today and I think today was kind of one of those days where his stuff was just a little bit flat and not as explosive as it has been over these past few starts.”
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The White Sox couldn’t get anything going against Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka after squandering an opportunity in the second inning. After Brett Lawrie hit a one-out single, Alex Avila — who left the game in the sixth inning with a right hamstring strain — banged a double off the left field wall to put runners on second and third with one out. But Avisail Garcia struck out, and J.B. Shuck’s flyout to left erased any chance of getting on the board.
Tanaka scattered six hits and one walk with five strikeouts in his 7 2/3 innings.
The Yankees added two extra runs in the eighth off right-hander Michael Ynoa when Rob Refsnyder drilled a double to center to score Headily, which Aaron Hicks followed with an RBI double of his own. Mark Teixeira’s sacrifice fly in the ninth brought in the Yankees’ final run of the evening.
Entering Tuesday, Rodon had a 3.24 ERA with 42 strikeouts, 13 walks and five home runs allowed in his previous seven starts — a stretch which came after his ERA ballooned to a season-high 4.99. But after allowing four tallies in five innings June 30 against Minnesota and then five earned run against New York, Rodon will enter the All-Star break with a 4.50 ERA and a 4.45 FIP.
“It wasn’t good, let’s put it that way,” Rodon said. “ … They were hitting the ball well. They came out swinging today. Hats off to them. Some experienced guys on that team and they put it to me.”