Two of the stingiest pitchers in the 2021 season are scheduled to meet Saturday when the Chicago White Sox continue a three-game series in Milwaukee against the Brewers.
Tyrone Taylor belted his first career grand slam during a six-run seventh inning in Milwaukee's 7-1 victory on Friday as the Brewers snapped a five-game home losing streak.
Chicago was held to five hits in the loss and will look to bounce back behind starter Carlos Rodon (8-3, 2.14 ERA), who will face off against fellow first-time All-Star Corbin Burnes (5-4, 2.16).
Rodon turned in a dominant performance against Houston last Sunday.
The 28-year-old left-hander allowed one hit over seven scoreless innings in the 4-0 victory. He struck out 10 batters with no walks.
"We all noticed from the first pitch to the first hitter, he was coming at it with his best stuff, very aggressive," manager Tony La Russa said. "Impressive, amazing, much needed."
Rodon's streak of starts with eight or more strikeouts in 10 consecutive games is the longest in club history.
Jackie Bradley, Jr. is 5-for-10 with two home runs against Rodon, who received a no-decision in his only career start against Milwaukee on Aug. 3, 2020, when he exited after two innings due to a sore shoulder.
Chicago holds a commanding lead in the American League Central but the pitchers were uncharacteristically wild on Friday, when they issued nine walks.
La Russa had seen enough in the seventh inning and was ejected for the first time since Aug. 10, 2011, when he was managing the St. Louis Cardinals.
On Saturday, the Brewers will turn to Burnes, who owns a 0.84 ERA over his past three starts. He is coming off a stellar outing against the Cincinnati Reds last Sunday.
The 26-year-old recorded the longest start of his career and struck out 12 while allowing five hits and a walk over 8 1/3 innings in the 8-0 victory.
The right-hander has 140 strikeouts with just 16 walks in 96 innings.
Burnes made his only previous appearance against the White Sox on Aug. 3, 2020, when he allowed two runs in 3 2/3 innings of relief.
Milwaukee's surge to the top of the National League Central has been led by an outstanding pitching staff and the play of shortstop Willy Adames, who was acquired from Tampa Bay on May 21.
The Brewers are 36-18 since May 22, and Adames has been at the center of the run. He has 11 homers and 38 RBIs since joining the team.
"He's been as impactful as an in-season acquisition can be," president of baseball operations David Stearns said. "We were fortunate we were able to do that at an earlier point in the season where he could impact the team for longer. He's clearly exceeded our expectations for what he's done for our team. We've loved having him."
The White Sox have been equally pleased by the performance of outfielder Andrew Vaughn, who went 3-for-4 with a solo homer on Friday.
The 23-year-old rookie is hitting .313 (31-for-99) with six homers and 14 RBIs over his past 30 games.
--Field Level Media