In front of a sparse crowd of fans in N.C. State gear at Five County Stadium, former Wolfpack All-American Carlos Rodon was hit hard Tuesday night by the Carolina Mudcats in his first test of 2017.
Rodon, who has been sidelined by bursitis in his left biceps since March 19, struck out six batters but allowed four hits and five earned runs in a 6-3 loss for the Winston-Salem Dash, the single-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.
The Mudcats only put three balls in play off Rodon their first time through the order, but all three did some damage in the second inning, with Jake Gatewood singling and Lucas Erceg doubling off the center-field wall before Luis Aviles drilled a home run off the scoreboard in left field to put the Mudcats in front 3-0.
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Rodon struck out all three batters he faced on just 10 pitches in the first inning, using a fastball that reached 98 miles per hour and an effective slider to produce a lot of swings and misses. The left-hander from Holly Springs again struck out the side in the second, but when he left pitches over the plate, the Mudcats connected.
Rodon’s rocky outing continued in the third inning, as the former Wolfpack All-American walked leadoff man Corey Ray and surrendered an RBI double down the left-field line to Troy Stokes Jr.
Rodon exited the contest after walking a batter and inducing a groundout with his 71st pitch of the night in the fourth. Reliever Yelmison Peralta allowed the inherited runner to score, and the Dash could not rally from the deficit in the opening game of Tuesday’s doubleheader.
Rodon starred for three seasons at N.C. State. He was picked third overall by the Chicago White Sox in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft.
Rodon went 9-10 with a 4.04 ERA last season with the White Sox and was 9-6 (3.75 ERA) as a rookie in 2015. He has been on the 60-day disabled list.