After a hard fought 5-3 victory on Monday night, the White Sox looked to win their second straight against Felix Pena and the Angels.
For a while there, the starting first baseman for the American League in the All-Star Game, Jose Abreu, was struggling. He turned things around on Monday, going 2-4 with a home run and two RBIs. In the first inning on Tuesday’s ballgame, Abreu picked up right where he left off by hitting a base hit.
Don’t look now, but “Pito” is heating up. The Sox were unable to score in the first despite Abreu’s hit. Abreu had many long nights during his slump thinking about how to turn things around.
“I’ve spent many nights thinking of ways to get out of this,” said Abreu. “I have the same routine every day, but it’s been difficult. I really felt good about the home run because I really wanted to help the team.”
Carlos Rodon was on the bump for the Pale Hose. He made quick work of the Angels through the first two innings. It took him just 27 pitches to retire the Angels. In the top of the third, the Sox bats got going.
Tim Anderson lined a single to right field, and reached second base after a stolen base attempt and Adam Engel ground. The next batter, Yoan Moncada, hit a ball deep in the hole to shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who was unable to make a play. The bases were juiced for the Sox hottest hitter after Yolmer Sanchez reached on a walk.
Abreu, a career .341 hitter with the bases loaded, worked a 2-0 count. On the next pitch, he just missed hitting a grand slam to the short porch in right field. He didn’t waste the a-bat though. Instead, he worked a bases-loaded walk to give the Sox a 1-0 lead.
The at-bat showed us that Abreu is indeed locked in. If this situation was just three or four days earlier, Abreu may have gotten himself out.
Avisail Garcia hit a fly ball into right field that scored Moncada to make it 2-0. Moncada did get up from his slide with a bit of a limp but stayed in the game.
Rodon added two strikeouts in the third to keep the Angels off the board. He had great stuff on Tuesday night. Early on it was reminiscent of his game against the St. Louis Cardinals a few weeks back. Hell, he struck out the great Mike Trout in the fourth.
When Rodon is able to get both the changeup and slide over, the opposing team has no chance. Through four innings, he had allowed just one baserunner. Rodon had a no-hitter through five innings in a game that was flying by, in terms of time. Just 64 pitches in five innings? Talk about dominance.
After back-to-back singles by Avi Garcia and Omar Narvaez, the Sox were in business. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons made a terrific play gunning Garcia out at home to keep the Sox off the board in the sixth. Garcia made up for it though with a great running catch in right field to preserve Rodon’s no-hitter.
Simmons broke up Rodon’s no-hitter with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. He was caught in between first and second base, so the Sox were able to get out of the inning without any damage being done.
Moncada added some insurance as he hit his 14th homer of the year to make it 3-0 Sox. In the eighth, Matt Davidson hit a double with two outs. Nicky Delmonico drove him in on a single to right field. It was 4-0 good guys.
Things got intresting in the bottom of the eighth. Rodon was pulled with two outs with runners on second and third. After a double scored the Angels first run of the game, Juan Minaya hit, who else, but Simmons, which loaded the bases for Trout.
Minaya was unable to get any help from the umpire, who helped Trout draw a walk that made it a 4-2 ballgame. Robot umpires anyone?
Jeanmar Gomez was called upon to get the Sox out of trouble. Gomez was able to get Upton to pop out to end the threat. Rodon’s final line was 7.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, and 8Ks.
Joakim Soria, who should be traded sometime between now and the end of the MLB trade deadline closed out the game for the Sox, who won 4-2.
Follow Nick on Twitter: @TLS_Petrusevski–Feature Photo Credit: Getty Images