Carlos Rodon tied an AL record by striking out the first seven batters and Tim Anderson finished a double shy of the cycle to lead the Chicago White to a 7-3 win Friday night, handing the Twins their 103rd loss – the most since the franchise moved to Minnesota.
Rodon (9-10) gave up three hits and three walks while striking out 10 over six innings, giving up three runs – two earned – in a 31-pitch sixth that ended his night. Anderson also drove in two runs in Chicago’s sixth win in seven games.
Tyler Duffey (9-12) gave up five runs in two-plus innings to ensure Minnesota won’t have a 10-game winner while reaching the most losses since the Washington Senators went 50-104 in 1949. The 57-103 Twins have two games left.
Rodon quickly set the tone for Minnesota’s dubious night that topped the 102-loss Twins of 1982.
The 23-year-old lefty fanned Brian Dozier, Jorge Polanco and Robbie Grossman on sliders in the first. He got Miguel Sano on a fastball, Kennys Vargas on a changeup and saw Eduardo Escobar chase a slider in the dirt in the third.
When John Ryan Murphy was caught looking at a 97 mph fastball to lead off the third, Rodon tied the AL record for strikeouts to start a game set by Joe Cowley of the White Sox on May 28, 1986, at Texas.
Logan Schafer’s ensuing double left Rodon one strikeout shy of the major league record to start a game shared by the Astros’ Jim Deshaies and the Mets’ Jacob deGrom.
Rodon’s strikeout streak was 10 when figuring in the final three hitters he faced while fanning 11 in a victory Sunday at Cleveland. The last pitcher to strike out 10 in a row was Eric Gagne of the Dodgers over four games in May 2003.
Duffey gave up six hits while getting six outs. Omar Narvaez hit his first career homer in the fourth off Pat Dean as the White Sox built a 7-0 lead.
Twins: 1B Joe Mauer (quadriceps) remained out. … Manager Paul Molitor said veteran C Kurt Suzuki ”has taken a beating” and won’t catch again this season. Suzuki is in the last year of his contract. ”It’s probably been as awkward a month for him as anybody in that clubhouse when you’re potentially playing out into your free agency as a catcher in your early 30s,” Molitor said.
White Sox: Tests showed 2B Tyler Saladino has a herniated disk. He had an epidural Monday and doesn’t believe he’ll need surgery. ”It was kind of crippling for a little bit,” he said.
Returning from his first off day since May 24, Dozier extended his slump to 1 for 32 before singling and scoring in the sixth. He remained at 42 homers and 99 RBIs.
Both benches were warned after Ryan O’Rourke nearly hit Anderson in the eighth. The Twins appeared to object to Anderson’s home run celebration. Anderson then grounded to third to end his chances at the cycle.
White Sox RHP James Shields (6-18, 5.82 ERA) closes a tough season Saturday night against Twins LHP Hector Santiago (12-10, 4.87).
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