Carlos Rodon took a perfect game into the fourth inning, and had the stuff to match. In addition to his normally cruel slider, Rodon was nicking the corners of the strike zone, and threw a straight change down broadway that made Manny Machado look like a fool. Anything seemed possible.
1. It turns out it was, but “anything” always winds up encompassing too much. A stalwart at second base for most of April, Brett Lawrie nudged the fifth inning–which the Sox entered leading 1-0–off a cliff by botching a routine double play ball, allowing Adam Jones to reach third after a leadoff walk. A nice decision and play by Todd Frazier on a J.J. Hardy tapper to third trapped Jones in a rundown at home, but was immediately followed by a swinging bunt from Nolan Reimold that Frazier couldn’t find the grip to barehand, loading the bases.
It was then that Rodon got in on the sabotage, leaving a slider up that Jonathan Schoop lined for a two-run single. But he induced yet another easy double play ball to potentially end the threat, only to have Jimmy Rollins trip during the turn and fling his throw high and wide of Jose Abreu, allowing the Orioles to creep ahead 3-1. Machado lined a single to right field that looked like it might score Joey Rickard from second, but he was gunned down at home by an Adam Eaton laser beam throw.
2. A bit of the late-inning offensive heroics emerged in the sixth. Eaton worked a one-out walk off Orioles starter Mike Wright, scooted to third when Jones had trouble fielding a single from Rollins to center, and scored when Abreu fisted a single off an face-high fastball to right. A big comeback looked imminent when Frazier took a close 3-2 pitch to walk the bases loaded, but Melky Cabrera’s liner found Jones in center, who combined with Matt Wieters for a perfect peg and tag to nail Eaton at home.
Despite having their sixth-inning rally stifled, the Sox were able to square the game at 3-3 when Lawrie tomahawked a high fastball out to left in the seventh, but that would serve as the last high point.
3. Rodon returned in the seventh without any of his fastball command, and accordingly his third mistake up in the zone in a row got taken over the wall in right by Reimold for a back-breaking three-run bomb. Despite some of his most electrifying stuff of the year, Rodon finished with four earned runs to his name and a 1-3 record.
4. A booming RBI triple off the bat of Avisail Garcia to left-center in the second inning put the Sox ahead 1-0, but before we could get through one night of contemplating the return of his power, he tweaked his hamstring trying to duck a tag on the final out. Robin Ventura said he will be re-evaluated Saturday in his post-game availability.
5. Tommy Kahnle made his White Sox debut in the bottom of the eighth inning, after Daniel Webb was placed on the disabled list with elbow flexor inflammation earlier in the day. Kahnle walked two batters in an inning of work and threw just five of his 14 pitches for strikes. He will probably not be challenging for save opportunities very soon.
Team Record: 16-8
Next game is Saturday at 6:05pm CT at Baltimore on WGN
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