After losing two consecutive series match ups, the White Sox have now won back-to-back games to clinch their current series against the current occupants of the second Wild Card, the LA Angels.
Following a dominating performance on Monday night by ace Chris Sale, turned to Carlos Rodon (5-4) for an encore on Tuesday. Coming off two consecutive shaky starts in which he surrendered twelve earned runs over just 7.2 combined innings, he returned to his previous electric form, pitching seven scoreless innings. He also struck out eleven Halos, including two apiece of sluggers Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. By the time he departed, the Sox had staked him to a 3-0 lead, which included a fifth inning solo home run by recent call up Trayce Thompson, the first of his MLB career.
In the eight inning, the Sox oft shaky bullpen took over, and things got interesting quickly. Zach Duke entered, and after striking out Taylor Featherston to start the frame, surrendered a single to Shane Victorino and a walk to Kole Calhoun. Jake Petricka relieved Duke to pitch to Trout, who promptly reached on an error to load the bases with one out. Then came the play of the game, as Petricka induced an inning-ending 1-2-3 double play from Pujols to end the threat. David Robertson pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 23rd save.
The Sox and Angels wrap up the three game series on Wednesday on the South Side. John Danks (6-9) will try to continue his recent run of credible performances as he opposes the Angels’ Andrew Heaney (5-1). A win would not only earn the Sox a sweep of the Halos, but would move them back to within sight, albeit with binoculars, of the second AL Wild Card.