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Chicago White Sox are ‘concerned’ after Carlos Rodón leaves after 3 innings with soreness in a 4-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers, but their magic number drops to 2

Chicago Tribune logo Chicago Tribune 9/21/2021 LaMond Pope, Chicago Tribune

Carlos Rodón showed flashes of his breakthrough 2021 season in the first inning Monday against the Detroit Tigers, striking out two batters.

But his outing was over after three innings.

Rodón exited after 69 pitches and did not factor in the decision in the Chicago White Sox’s 4-3 loss to the Tigers in front of 12,844 at Comerica Park.

The Tigers broke a 3-3 tie when Harold Castro drove in Robbie Grossman with a two-out single to right in the eighth against reliever Craig Kimbrel.

Despite the loss, the Sox made progress in their quest to win the American League Central after the Cleveland Indians were swept in a doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals. The Sox magic number for clinching the division title is two.

Now the focus turns to Rodón, who allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits with six strikeouts and two walks in three innings.

“The first two innings, we were all encouraged,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “He threw the ball well. In the third, he lost command, he was struggling. Actually fortunate to leave (the third) with three runs.

“He came back in and said he wasn’t right, soreness. So we’re concerned.”

When asked about Rodón’s next start, La Russa said: “If you ask for a seat-of-the-pants opinion, I don’t see how he’ll pitch next week. ... You prepare for the worst, hope for the best. It’s a tired cliché, but it’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

Rodón spoke to reporters after La Russa and said: ”It’s just normal soreness. Nothing crazy.”

He was on the injured list Aug. 8-26 with left shoulder fatigue. The All-Star left-hander, who has a 2.47 ERA, has pitched on extended rest at times this season. Monday’s start was his first since Sept. 10.

“Everybody that’s looked at it, his family and his representatives, all think we’ve done everything, from the extra rest, we haven’t pushed it,” La Russa said. “He was only going to pitch one more time next week.

“He’s done such a good job for us, he’s been so important to the start that we’ve had. Being in first place, you’re just really concerned about him.”

Rodón wanted to keep the attention on the outing.

“You get in the third, my team puts up three runs,” he said. “Just disappointed in myself to go out there and give up three runs when they put up three runs for me. That’s a shutdown inning, and that’s on me.”

The Sox loaded the bases in the third with no outs for Yoán Moncada, who hit a grounder to second baseman Jonathan Schoop. The Tigers got a force at second but couldn’t complete the double play, and Brian Goodwin scored the game’s first run.

Yasmani Grandal drove in another run with a sacrifice fly to center, and Eloy Jiménez knocked in Moncada with a double to make it 3-0.

The Tigers responded with three in the bottom of the inning. With runners on the corners and a run already in, Schoop hit a grounder fielded by César Hernández. The second baseman tagged the runner headed to second, Victor Reyes, with his glove while the ball was in his throwing hand. He then threw late to first. Reyes was ruled safe, and a run scored to make it 3-2.

“We’ve all seen that play,” La Russa said. “It’s bang-bang. It’s the one where you think, ‘Uh-oh, I’ve still got the ball in my hand.’ You can tag him with the hand, you can do it either way. I’ve seen it before. He’s played outstanding second base, and I’m not going to crucify him for one mental lapse.”

Reyes scored on a sacrifice fly to tie the score. José Ruiz replaced Rodón in the fourth.

The game remained tied until the eighth. Grossman reached when Kimbrel hit him with a pitch. He stole second and scored on Castro’s single.

The series continues Tuesday with a game moved up to 12:10 p.m. because of expected inclement weather in the evening.

The Sox could be division champs by Tuesday evening if they win and the Cleveland Indians lose their 5:10 p.m. game against the Kansas City Royals.

“The priority is: What are we doing and how can we get more consistent?” La Russa said. “And that’s where the focus is.”


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