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White Sox P Carlos Rodon seeks return to win column vs. Blue Jays
Carlos Rodon will look to bounce back from his worst outing of the season when the Chicago White Sox open a three-game series against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
Rodon (5-2, 1.98 ERA) has been tremendous this season, which included a career highlight when he threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians on April 14. The southpaw has given up one earned run or fewer in seven of his nine starts.
However, his last time out, Rodon allowed a season-high five runs on nine hits in six innings against the Indians on May 31. He walked one and struck out eight, settling for a no-decision in a game Chicago eventually won.
Now, Rodon will try to regroup in his third career start against the Blue Jays and his first since 2018. During his first two starts, he went 0-0 with a 2.70 ERA (four earned runs in 13 1/3 innings).
The White Sox come in with three wins in their past four games.
Manager Tony La Russa made history by moving into second place on the all-time managerial wins list Sunday, passing John McGraw with No. 2,764. After enjoying the moment with his team, he quickly turned his attention to the upcoming series.
"I keep looking at Toronto, and the week after that we've got Tampa Bay and Houston," La Russa said. "So there's no relaxation or taking anything for granted. It's just getting ready to compete, see who's good enough. Simple."
The Blue Jays open a seven-game road trip after dropping two of three games at their temporary home in Buffalo, N.Y., against the Houston Astros. Toronto was outscored 21-10 during the series.
Blue Jays left-hander Robbie Ray (3-2, 3.57) will try to open the trip on a winning note. He is coming off a victory against the Miami Marlins last Tuesday in which he allowed one run in six innings while striking out nine.
On the season, Ray has 69 strikeouts and only 14 walks in 58 innings.
This will be the 29-year-old's first career appearance against the White Sox.
One of Ray's teammates looking to provide run support in the series opener will be veteran outfielder Randal Grichuk, who is hitting .282 with 12 homers and 43 RBIs in 57 games. Grichuk's production has helped Toronto deal with the injury absence of George Springer, who has been sidelined by a right quadriceps strain.
Grichuk said he felt less pressure coming into the season, which helped contribute to his success. Toronto's decision to add Springer initially made it look like Grichuk would be a bench contributor.
"Going into the year, I wasn't expecting to play much," Grichuk said. "I really wasn't trying to do too much. I didn't think I was going to play, so I didn't think it mattered how I did.
"It allowed me just to go out there and play, not overthink things and not try to do too much. I stayed within myself. It happened early, I got off to a good start, and here we are."
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu is expected to rejoin the lineup after he had the day off Sunday in his team's series finale against the Detroit Tigers. Abreu is hitting .253 with 11 homers and 46 RBIs in 54 games.
--Field Level Media
Updated June 7, 2021