TEMPE, Ariz. -- Carlos Rodon didn’t look like a guy who pitched in his first game of the entire spring on Sunday afternoon.
Rodon allowed a hit and walked one while striking out five batters in four scoreless innings in his 2017 Cactus League debut. Yoan Moncada also homered and doubled twice for the White Sox, who pounded the Los Angeles Angels 11-2 at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
After working on a deliberately slow program, Rodon admitted he’s been antsy to appear in an exhibition game.
“I’ve been sitting here for a while watching everybody else do something,” Rodon said. “I finally get to get out there and compete. So it was fun.
“Just normal. Getting back out there on the mound and facing those guys. Just had a fun time out there and we had some good defense playing behind me today. Hats off to those guys.”
Rodon had some good movement working. He dropped in a pair of offspeed pitches for called third strikes, two of three punch outs. The left-hander’s fastball sat between 90-91 mph in a scoreless first inning.
Rodon -- who threw strikes on 38 of 65 pitches before throwing 10 more in the bullpen -- struck out Mike Trout, Luis Valbuena (twice), Cameron Maybin and Cliff Pennington. He said he used all four of his pitches in the outing.
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“It’s nice to get a sense of where I’m at and just be able to compete out there like I said,” Rodon said. “Build from that. Just try to build that pitch count up and then try to get up and down five or six times next time and then just more command better changeups.”
The White Sox wanted for Rodon to take the slow route this spring. Not only do they want to help him reach the 200-inning mark, they hope he could avoid some of the fatigue Rodon experienced last summer. Despite that fatigue, Rodon returned to action after he sprained his wrist and excelled, posting a 3.11 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings.
“We’re glad he’s out there,” manager Rick Renteria said before the game. “He’s on track and falling into the schedule we had set up at the end.”
Of late, Moncada has been on an impressive pace. Most of his damage Sunday came against the Angels bullpen as he homered off Kirby Yates and hit the first of his doubles against Austin Adams. Through 46 plate appearances, Moncada is slashing .317/.391/.683 with three homers and 13 RBIs.
Fellow prospect Zack Burdi struck out one in 1 2/3 scoreless innings. He hasn’t allowed a run in eight of nine appearances and has a 2.70 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 10 innings this spring.
Matt Davidson homered and tripled in four at-bats. Adam Engel went 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Melky Cabrera went 2-for-4 with two RBIs for the White Sox, who finished with 14 hits.