“The weather doesn’t bother me, especially against my ex-teammates. Late in the game, I was just letting it go,” Colon said Friday night when he pitched his 20th career complete game in his first home start for the Chicago White Sox.
Colon wasn’t sharp, allowing nine hits, but he was still good enough to finish the game as the White Sox rallied to beat the Indians 5-3.
“Early in the game it was kind of freezing,” Colon said of the 42-degree night in which he took the mound in short sleeves.
“As soon as we tied it, I felt more comfortable. The team responded and I didn’t want to let them down.”
Colon (2-0), who spent 5 1/2 years with the Indians before being dealt to Montreal last season and subsequently coming to the White Sox in another trade, struck out three and walked three in Chicago’s first complete game of the season.
“He did what he’s capable of doing. He finished the game,” Chicago catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. said.
Colon worked out of a final jam in the eighth, striking out Travis Hafner with runners at first and third.
“It was the same Bartolo that we’ve seen,” Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel said. “Whenever he needed to turn it on, he just turned it on.”
Colon, a 20-game winner last season with 10 wins in Cleveland and 10 more with the Expos, got a no-decision in his first appearance against the Indians 10 days ago at Jacobs Field.
Acquiring him was Chicago’s biggest offseason move.
“He was the most sought after pitcher in the industry,” White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said. “It’s huge, not just for tonight but hopefully for later in the season. When he gets in trouble, he can get the strikeout. He has enough left to go to another gear.”
But Santiago couldn’t handle the ball Ordonez hit right back at him—it was ruled a single— and after he did pick it up, he threw wildly past first.
“It flicked off his glove. The runners were moving, so who knows how it would have played out,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said.
“But with us heading toward the bag at second base if that ball gets through, we might have had somebody there and might still be able to get the double play.”
On the second pitch after Lee’s homer, Rodriguez uncorked a wild and high fastball behind Joe Crede’s head, bringing the White Sox dugout to the top of the steps screaming at the Indians right-hander.
Chicago tied it in the bottom of the inning as Jimenez tripled, Jose Valentin singled him home and Ordonez hit an RBI double to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.
Valentin added a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.
Thomas drew two walks, giving him 1,303 for his career and allowing him to pass Luke Appling for the top spot in franchise history. … Indians CF Milton Bradley, who had his 14-game hitting streak snapped Thursday night, sat out with a sore right hamstring. …The Indians signed RHP Blake Stein to a minor-league contract Friday and sent him to extended spring training. …Vizquel is 4-for-8 against Colon.