Carlos Rodon needed only one more out on Wednesday afternoon to qualify for the victory.
But with the White Sox in need of a win and the rookie not entirely on the mark, White Sox manager Robin Ventura elected to call for the bullpen. Rodon, who allowed six hits and four earned runs with two walks in 4 2/3 innings, slowly walked off the mound and headed for the clubhouse. The White Sox bullpen couldn’t hold the lead though they ultimately defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 in 10 innings at U.S. Cellular Field.
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If Rodon bore any resentment afterward it was nowhere to be found in his postgame media session.
“It’s a decision that the manager has to make, and you go with that and what’s best for the team,” Rodon said. “I totally understand the circumstances and the outcome, and I agree with it. That’s all you can do.”
Rodon appeared to be doing all he could to hang on after his team spotted him five runs in the first inning. He allowed a pair of runs in the third inning on three consecutive two-out hits. The left-hander followed that with a nine-pitch frame in the fourth but wasn’t as lucky in the fifth. He hit Brandon Guyer and induced a double play before Evan Longoria homered to deep center to make it a 5-3 game. Rodon’s day ended after he walked Logan Forsythe as Matt Albers took over. Albers also had thrown earlier in the game when Rodon loaded the bases with one out in the second inning.
“He was getting a little erratic,” Ventura said. “I think that’s part of him going through walking a guy, getting behind in counts and things like that. Once we get that lead, you want to see a guy attacking the zone. Today just wasn’t quite that, so we felt it was best to start using up the bullpen.”