(AP) – Carlos Rodón allowed one hit through seven dominant innings, Yoán Moncada and Tim Anderson hit solo homers and the Chicago White Sox topped the Houston Astros 4-0 on Sunday.
Danny Mendick and Adam Engel added RBI singles, and the White Sox stymied Astros hitters for the second straight game after losing their first five this season to Houston — and being outscored 34-9 in those contests. Chicago has won seven of eight to move to the top of the American League standings.
After Lucas Giolito tossed a three-hitter on Saturday for the White Sox, Rodón followed up with a statement of his own.
“We needed to take this series and prove that we’re just as good as them,” Rodón said. “It’s something we can build off of.
“I felt good coming into today,” he added. “I’m just trying to give the team some confidence out there and attack the hitters.”
Abraham Toro’s sharp single past Mendick at second in the third inning was the only hit off Rodón (8-3) and accounted for Houston’s only baserunner. The big left-hander struck out 10 in this meeting of division leaders.
“We all noticed from the first pitch to the first hitter, he was coming at it with his best stuff, very aggressive,” Chicago manager Tony La Russa said. “Impressive, amazing, much needed.”
Rodón, who tossed a no-hitter against Cleveland on April 14, was on the AL All-Star team but didn’t pitch in the game Tuesday in Denver. He seemed to have plenty of strength in this one, reaching velocities in the upper 90s before Michael Kopech relieved and pitched a perfect eighth.
Although honored to be there, Rodón said not pitching in the All-Star game was “part of the plan.”
“I needed that for my body and I think it will do it well over the second half,” he said.
Liam Hendriks finished with a 1-2-3 ninth to complete the combined one-hitter.
“It was a rather uneventful game for us,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said. “It was all Rodón.
“We’ve run into some real good pitching the last couple of days. It’s no secret they have one of the best pitching staffs and starting pitching in baseball.”
Framber Valdez (5-2) yielded four runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings, striking out four and walking two.
Mendick’s single with two outs in the second, the first hit of the game, drove in the first run.
Moncada’s solo shot in the fourth made it 2-0. It was his sixth homer and first since June 3.
Anderson homered into the visitors’ bullpen in right for the second straight game in the fifth. Engel drove in a run with a seventh-inning single.
Rodon reached double digits in strikeouts for the fourth time this season and 11th time in his career.
José Altuvé battled Rodón though a 10-pitch at-bat before flying to center for the third out in the sixth.
Astros: RHP Pedro Báez (shoulder soreness) will make a second rehab outing with Class A Fayetteville on Sunday, then travel to Houston to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday, Baker said. Báez could then be assigned to Triple-A Sugar Land. … INF Aledmys Díaz (fractured left hand) will move from the rookie level Gulf Coast League to Double-A Corpus Christi next week to continue his rehab.
Astros: Cleveland RHP J.C. Mejia (1-4, 7.42 ERA) is expected to face RHP Zack Greinke (8-3, 3.59) in Houston on Monday.
White Sox: Chicago hosts Minnesota in a doubleheader Monday. The Twins start RHP Griffin Jax (1-1, 8.66) in the first game and RHP José Berrios (7-3, 3.48) in the second.
AL ERA leader Lance Lynn (9-3, 1.99) will start the first game for the White Sox, his first outing since signing a two-year, $38 million contract extension. La Russa said he hadn’t decided on a starter for the second game, but said RHP Reynaldo López (0-0, 0.00) was in the mix.