Charlotte Knights

Rodon’s first 2015 appearance is a win for Knights

A sold-out crowd turned out to watch White Sox No. 1 prospect Carlos Rodon pitch on Saturday night at BB&T BallParkBallpark, and the 22-year-old southpaw made sure every one of the 10,480 went home satisfied.

Rodon allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits over five innings of work in the Charlotte Knights 4-2 win over the Norfolk Tides. He walked two, hit a batter, and struck out nine, despite not having his best slider.

After cruising through his first four innings of work, Rodon (1-0) ran into trouble in the fifth, walking his only two batters of the night to begin the frame.

When Trayce Thompson’s two-base error allowed two runs to score and left a potential third standing on third base, things looked like they could be on the verge of unraveling for the 6-foot-3-inch, 235-pounder.

Rodon, however, would bear down.

After getting a ground out, Rodon fanned Nolan Reimold and Chris Parmelee on 97-mph fastballs to escape any further damage. The 31-pitch inning marked the end of a satisfying first appearance of 2015 for the former No. 3 overall pick (in 2014) out of N.C. State.

Dan Black, who made his first start of 2015 at first base, was the offensive star of the night, knocking in Charlotte’s first three runs with clutch two-out singles in the second and fourth innings.

Tyler Saladino (1-for-4) knocked in an insure run with a single in the fourth inning to cap the Knights’ scoring.

Maikel Cleto, Arcenio Leon and Jairo Asencio (S, 2) combined to shutout the Tides over the game’s final four innings.

Quote

“My fastball command was real good. My slider wasn’t at its best, but the changeup was a lot better. I don’t know, I threw 14 changeups and 17 sliders, but those 14 changeups were better than most of those sliders.” -- Knights starting pitcher Carlos Rodon.

Worth mentioning

Rodon posted a 3.06 ERA with 21 strikeouts, five walks over 17 2/3 Cactus League innings this spring and remained on his game in his first start of 2015. Of his 87 pitches on Saturday night, 56 were fastballs, 17 were sliders and 14 were changeups. … Over 29 1/3 career Minor League innings, Rodon has now struck out 47, while allowing just nine earned runs. … Saladino’s RBI single in the fourth inning gave him hits in all three games this season. He’s hitting a team-high .462 (min 10 plate appearances) through three games. … Rodon (9), Cleto (4), Leon (1) and Asencio (2) combined to hold Norfolk to three hits, while striking out a season-high 16.

What’s next?

The Knights (2-1) will play the final game of their four-game series with the Tides (1-2) on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. at BB&T Ballpark. RHP Scott Carroll (0-0) will take the mound across from RHP Zach Davies (0-0).

KNIGHTS 4,

TIDES 2

Norfolk

ab

r

h

bi

Reimold, lf

4

0

1

0

Parmelee, dh

3

0

0

0

Alvarez, cf

3

0

1

0

Walker, 1b

4

0

0

0

Perez, c

4

0

0

0

Nix, 2b

3

1

0

0

Urrutia, dh

2

1

0

0

Almanzar, 3b

3

0

1

1

Janish, ss

3

0

0

0

Totals

29

2

3

1

Charlotte

ab

r

h

bi

Saladino, ss

4

0

1

1

Garcia, 2b

3

0

0

0

Soto, dh

4

0

1

0

Davidson, 3b

4

0

0

0

Beltre, rf

4

2

2

0

Thompson, cf

4

1

1

0

Tuiasosopo, lf

1

1

0

0

Smith, c

3

0

0

0

Black, 1b

3

0

2

3

Totals

30

4

7

4

Norfolk

000

020

000

2

3

0

Charlotte

020

200

00x

4

7

1

E–Thompson. LOB–Norfolk 4, Charlotte 6. 2B–Beltre. SB–Beltre. CS–Garcia. PO–Garcia.

NorfolkIP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

McFrlnd (L 0-1)

3.1

4

4

4

2

3

Beato

2.1

2

0

0

1

2

Rodriqz

1.2

1

0

0

1

1

Bowden

0.2

0

0

0

0

0

Totals

8.0

7

4

4

4

6

CharlotteIP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Rodon (W 1-0)

5

2

2

1

2

9

Cleto

2

1

0

0

0

4

Leon

1

0

0

0

1

1

Asencio (S 2)

1

0

0

0

0

2

Totals

9.0

3

2

1

3

16

WP-Rodon. T-2:39. A-10,480.

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