Limiting free passes key to White Sox run

Rotation has not allowed a walk in five straight games

Limiting free passes key to White Sox run

CLEVELAND -- The first rule of White Sox starting pitchers not allowing a walk over five straight games is you don't talk about White Sox starting pitchers not allowing a walk over five straight games. That point was made clear by a smiling manager Robin Ventura after his team completed a four-game road sweep of the Indians with a 2-1 victory Sunday.

"They've been fantastic," said Ventura of his front five, whose five straight walk-free games stand as the franchise's longest streak for starters since five straight in '72. "You have to have that to win multiple games in a row.

"You want your staff to pitch well, and that's part of it. Especially if you're playing defense, you don't want to walk anyone. You want to make them earn it. I think even today, Carlos [Rodon] made them do that."

This streak started Wednesday against St. Louis, with John Danks striking out five over 6 2/3 innings. Jeff Samardzija yielded one run over eight innings while fanning three, followed by Jose Quintana's eight-strikeout shutout and Chris Sale permitting two runs and striking out seven over seven on Saturday.

Rodon, who has walked 44 in 77 innings this season, completed the sweep Sunday by striking out nine in 6 2/3 scoreless innings.

"He did a great job getting ahead of guys. That's a big thing right there," said White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers, adding Rodon had a little lesser velocity but better command. "He was locating his fastball pretty well.

"That gave us an opportunity to get a good feel for the slider. He threw a number of good changeups in there, too. So when he's getting strike one early, then we have a couple of things to work with. That allowed us to have a chance to put some guys away."

White Sox pitchers have a 2.37 ERA over their last 14 games, and over the last 21 games, they have produced 16 quality starts. The White Sox stand at 41-18 in '15 when receiving a quality start, an important stat to remember as the South Siders try to force their way into playoff contention.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.