Cease, Rodon add to anx­i­ety

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN, STAFF REPORTER dvan­schouwen@suntimes.com @CST_­sox­van

CLEVE­LAND — Left-han­der Car­los Rodon’s pri­mal scream echoed the White Sox’ frus­tra­tion across empty Pro­gres­sive Field. It cried out ev­ery­thing you need to know about the Sox’ first spin through their start­ing ro­ta­tion in 2020 and their wor­ri­some 1-4 start.

After giv­ing up a three-run homer to Car­los San­tana in the first in­ning of a 5-3 In­di­ans vic­tory that com­pleted a dou­ble­header sweep Tues­day, Rodon let loose in the vis­i­tors’ dugout with an R-rated yell and a toss of his glove.

Mak­ing his first start since May 2019 after re­cov­er­ing from Tommy John surgery, Rodon faced eight bat­ters after the homer, but he walked three In­di­ans in the fourth and was pulled by man­ager Rick Ren­te­ria after 71 pitches.

“We are the heart of the ball­club; we have to pitch bet­ter, for sure,” Rodon said of the start­ing ro­ta­tion.

Rodon was charged with five runs, fol­low­ing Dy­lan Cease’s four runs — two on home runs — in 2⅓ in­nings in a 4-3 loss in Game 1, Lu­cas Gi­olito’s seven runs in 3⅔ in­nings against the Twins on open­ing night and sore-shoul­dered Rey­naldo Lopez’s four runs in two-thirds of an in­ning Sun­day. Only Dal­las Keuchel’s 5⅓ in­nings of two-run ball Satur­day were sat­is­fac­tory in five at­tempts against the Sox’ top two ri­vals in the Amer­i­can League Cen­tral.

“It’s frus­trat­ing,” catcher James Mc­Cann said. “Whether it’s a 60game sea­son or 162-game sea­son, you want to get off to a good start. The pres­sure is a lit­tle more in a 60-game sea­son. We know there is a sense of ur­gency.”

The In­di­ans (4-1) have pitched with ur­gency, get­ting five starts of six in­nings or more with two or fewer runs al­lowed. Aaron Ci­vale and Adam Plutko did the hon­ors Tues­day.

“Bad fast­ball com­mand, bounc­ing my off-speed, not get­ting ahead,” Cease said. “Just not a good game.”

The Sox starters’ ERAs look like this: Gi­olito, 17.18; Keuchel, 3.38; Lopez, 54.00; Cease, 15.43; Rodon, 12.27. On the plus side, the Sox bullpen pitched score­less ball in both games Tues­day.

“We have to do it sooner rather than later to give our­selves a chance,” Ren­te­ria said.

“I don’t panic very much,” he added. “I’m not a pan­icker. I went into the club­house and said, ‘Keep your heads up. To­mor­row is an­other day.’ ”

Tak­ing it low and slow

Rookie Luis Robert is 7-for-19 with a walk and a homer in his first five games, but Ren­te­ria fig­ures to keep him lower in the or­der to keep the pres­sure off early on.

Robert (.368 av­er­age) bat­ted sev­enth in both games Tues­day, be­hind Nicky Del­monico, who played in place of Eloy Jimenez. Del­monico bat­ted fourth in Game 2.

This and that

Jimenez was un­der league con­cus­sion pro­to­col be­cause of his ini­tial symp­toms from crash­ing into the wall Sun­day. In­di­ca­tions were that his re­turn could be near.

Out­fielder No­mar Mazara, who went on the 10-day in­jured list July 21, joined the taxi-lea­guers in Schaum­burg.

Mc­Cann hit his sec­ond homer in as many starts as the catcher in Game 2. Jose Abreu hit his first homer and a dou­ble and scored on Del­monico’s sin­gle.

Tim Anderson snapped an 0-for-18 skid with a homer and two dou­bles in Game 1.

Lefty Ross Detwiler is one of four Sox pitch­ers to re­tire the first 15 bat­ters of the sea­son, join­ing Gary Glover (16 in 2001), Wil­son Al­varez (15 in 1992) and Britt Burns (15 in 1980).

The In­di­ans had 54 strike­outs through the first four games, trail­ing only this sea­son’s Reds for the most all time (59) through four games.

JA­SON MILLER/GETTY IM­AGES

Sox starter Car­los Rodon leaves in the fourth in­ning of Game 2 on Tues­day after al­low­ing five runs to the In­di­ans.

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