Carlos Rodon struggles in White Sox 6-1 loss to Indians

Cleveland Indians' Coco Crisp celebrates in the dugout after his three-run home run off Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Carlos Rodon during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, in Chicago. Jose Ramirez and Brandon Guyer also scored on the play. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Cleveland Indians' Coco Crisp celebrates in the dugout after his three-run home run off Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Carlos Rodon during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, in Chicago. Jose Ramirez and Brandon Guyer also scored on the play. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO (AP) — Carlos Rodon fell back to his first half form.

Coco Crisp tagged Rodon for a three-run homer in the sixth inning to break the game open and Cleveland beat the Chicago White Sox 6-1 on Wednesday night to remain six games ahead of Detroit in the AL Central.

Crisp, who also doubled, went deep to left with none out in the sixth to chase Rodon (7-9), who allowed six runs to match his season high and lost for the first time since July 31. The lefty was 5-0 with a 1.85 ERA in his previous seven starts.

“Losing is never great. This one is going to stick with me for a while until I face them again. I’m looking forward to that chance for sure. But live to fight another day, right? Move on. Short memory in this game. That’s the plan. I get home and just relax. It happens,” said Rodon.

The left-hander struggled the entire first half of the season with a 2-7 record and a 4.50 ERA, until dominating in his previous seven starts with a 5-0 record and 1.85 ERA, but he had his first poor start of the second half.

“Just a bad pitch to Coco. Changeup I left up and not where I wanted it. Good hitters punish those mistakes. There you go,” said Rodon.

Josh Tomlin pitched five effective innings in his return to the Indians rotation.

Tomlin (12-8) allowed one run on four hits and walked none as he ended a personal five-game losing streak that led to the right-hander being demoted to the bullpen after his last start on Aug. 30.

Jose Ramirez had two hits, including a triple that drove in two runs in a three-run third inning, and scored two runs. Brandon Guyer and Rajai Davis had two hits each.

Adam Eaton drove in the lone White Sox run with a triple in the third.

Tomlin won for the first time since July 30, when he was 11-3 with a 3.43 ERA. In six starts in August, the righty had a 11.48 ERA.

Four Indians relievers combined to limit the White Sox to two hits and walked none over four scoreless innings.

“I was really pleased the way he pitched tonight. He’ll get the ball again in six days because we have the day off and he can build off of this one,” said Indians manager Terry Francona.

The Indians leveraged the strong pitching in this one to bounce back from a pair of lopsided losses in the first two games in the series when the White Sox outscored them 19-5.

NO WORRIES

The Indians had lost three of four as they entered Wednesday’s game with a six game lead over Detroit in the AL Central. But Francona said neither he or his team are feeling pressure as they try to wrap up the division.

“Once my stuff (pregame preparation) is in a bundle and I’m ready to go, I have fun the rest of the day,” Francona said. “When you lose, it kind of hurts more, but that’s because (the games) are so important. But I’d rather have that than be 20 out and say we lost the game.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: Guyer (sore knee) started in right field after being struck by a pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s 8-1 loss, then leaving in the seventh. … C Yan Gomes (shoulder) was the DH at Double-A Akron on Wednesday and is expected to come off the disabled list Friday, possibly in time to catch ace Corey Kluber when the Indians open a pivotal series against Detroit.

White Sox: DH Justin Morneau (stiff neck) was out of the lineup for the second straight game. Jose Abreu was at DH with Todd Frazier switching from third to first base. … RHP Zach Putnam visited the team’s clubhouse and said he’s recovering “really nicely” from surgery on Aug. 5 to remove bone fragments from his right elbow. Following physical therapy, Putnam expects to resume throwing in December.

UP NEXT

RHP Mike Clevinger (2-2, 5.01) faces struggling RHP James Shields (3-10, 7.30) in the finale of the four-game series on Thursday afternoon. Shields is 0-5 with a 10.75 ERA in his last eight starts. Clevinger has reached the fifth inning only once in four starts since his recall on Aug. 4 from Triple-A Columbus, but Francona said Clevinger has been “stretched out” and expects the righty can go deeper in games.

HOT AT THE PLATE IN SEPTEMBER

White Sox OF Melky Cabrera was 3 for 4 and is hitting .339 in the month of September.

Comments are closed.