Former N.C. State ace Carlos Rodon took another step toward making his return to the Major Leagues on Sunday afternoon.
In his second rehab start and first with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights, Rodon (biceps) issued four walks and allowed four runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings against the Gwinnett Braves. He registered three strikeouts.
Sunday’s outing came after Rodon surrendered five runs and four hits across 3 1/3 innings at Class-A Winston-Salem on Tuesday.
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After tossing 71 pitches for Winston-Salem, Rodon followed that up with 84 pitches on Sunday, a positive sign after battling bursitis in his left biceps since March 19. However, he threw just 44 of those pitches for strikes.
Rodon will likely make at least two more rehab starts with Charlotte before returning to the Chicago White Sox starting rotation.
Monday: In six innings, Lucas Giolito allowed one run and registered 11 strikeouts, his most since tallying 12 for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators on June 10, 2016. However, the Knights recorded just five hits and committed three errors, losing 6-1 against the Bulls.
Tuesday: Charlotte trailed 4-1 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, when Carson Blair hit a two-run homer to pull the team within a run. Durham reliever Andrew Kittredge then entered the game and retired the next three batters to secure the 4-3 win.
Wednesday: After being promoted from Double-A Birmingham to the Knights before the game, Ronald Bueno tallied three hits, including a home run, in his Triple-A debut. However, Charlotte couldn’t overcome the four runs allowed by Tyler Danish in five innings en route to an 8-3 loss.
Thursday: In his second rehab start for the Knights, Chicago White Sox starter James Shields (lat strain) allowed two runs on four hits across five-plus innings. Former Charlotte slugger Matt Tuiasosopo guided Gwinnett to a 4-1 win, breaking a 1-1 tie with his two-run double in the sixth inning.
Friday: Carson Fulmer helped the Knights snap their season-high nine-game losing streak, tossing five scoreless innings in a 3-1 victory over Gwinnett. Yoan Moncada gave Charlotte a 1-0 lead on his fifth-inning home run, his first since May 7.
Saturday: Giolito pitched six shutout innings before giving up three runs in the seventh. The Knights, meanwhile, managed just three hits off Gwinnett starter Lucas Sims, who pitched eight scoreless innings in a 9-0 win.
Sunday: Charlotte couldn’t overcome the four-run deficit produced by Rodon, recording just four hits in a 5-0 defeat against Gwinnett. The loss marked the Knights’ 11th in their past 12 games.
What’s next: Charlotte returns to BB&T Ballpark for a six-game homestand against the Louisville Bats and Indianapolis Indians, beginning with Tuesday’s 7:05 p.m. contest against Louisville.
Pat James: @patjames24