The White Sox continued their onslaught against the Mariners Sunday, winning 4-1 to bring the season series to 5-3. With the Mariners on the periphery of Wild Card contention along with surging teams such as Detroit, Houston and Kansas City, the White Sox fought hard to ensure that the only AL team with a longer active playoff drought than them will maintain that throne.
- Carlos Rodon was largely dominant over his first 6 innings, allowing just a solo home run to Robinson Cano. He walked just one while striking out six, mixing in sliders and a few changeup while mostly locating with the fastball. Rodon improves to 5-8 on the season with a 3.91 ERA, 8.65 K/9 and 2.86 BB/9. After some rough patches, Rodon looks to have taken a positive step in his sophomore campaign. If he manages to continue pitching as he has this month, his stock will look very high for 2017 and beyond.
- Rodon departed after allowing back-to-back hits to start the seventh to Kyle Seager and Franklin Gutierrez, at which point Robin Ventura began playing matchups with a bullpen that remains quite depleted. RHP Chris Beck came into face the right-handed Mike Zunino, who inexplicably bunted, resulting in a force out at second. After Scott Servais pinch hit Adam Lind for Dae-Ho Lee to achieve a platoon advantage, Robin countered with Dan Jennings to counter the first-and-third. Jennings needed only one pitch to get Lind to scorch a ball to second baseman Tyler Saladino, who corralled a tough hop to turn two and escape the inning unscathed.
- Taijuan Walker was mostly good for his first seven innings, but hit three batters in his start (Jose Abreu twice and Adam Eaton once). Eaton was hit on the forearm with a pitch that caused him to exit the contest, though X-rays came up negative and he is listed as day-to-day with a sore forearm.
- The White Sox broke it open in the bottom of the eighth, chasing Walker with a Tim Anderson single/stolen base and a Melky Cabrera triple. The lead was enough for David Robertson to dance around a couple ninth inning singles before closing out the ballgame.
- In going 2-for-4 with a double, DH Justin Morneau improved his White Sox line to .278/.308/.492 in 133 plate appearances. While the OBP leads a bit to be desired, the Morneau expirement has to be considered a success for the White Sox, to likely no avail. Barring an extension, Morneau will likely test free agency, leaving a White Sox DH position that hasn’t seen above league average production since 2012 once again empty.
The White Sox head to Detroit to play spoiler once again this week, though sending James Shields and Anthony Ranaudo to the mound Monday and Tuesday may make a series victory difficult. Wednesday’s game will feature a matchup between longtime AL Central titans Chris Sale and Justin Verlander in what should be an exciting, if disappointingly irrelevant, matchup.
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