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How White Sox’ Johnny Cueto powered through for win over Angels

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Cueto: “I felt like my body was dying” vs. “Angels” originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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Johnny Cueto was the workhorse for White socks since he debuted with the team on May 16th. Since Tuesday night’s victory over the Angels, Cueto has pitched six or more innings in seven of eight starts. He also gave up three or fewer earned runs in seven of his eight starts. But after the game, Cueto admitted that he had a hard time earning another quality start.

“I told (to the hitters) just hit the homers,” Cueto said through a translator. “Let’s get the ball up in the air, because the ball is being carried today.”

Cueto knew this firsthand because he was beaten for three single home runs in the third inning. After the game, he said he didn’t feel like himself at the time and had to work hard to get through the sequence.

“In the beginning of the game, I felt weak,” Cueto said. “I didn’t have the strength that I usually have when I pitch and I had to reach far, far back to try to start the movement and finally get into rhythm during the game.

“I think I felt my body was dying,” Cueto added in English. “I feel my whole body: legs, arms, everything. Yes, I’m tired. I don’t know how, but it was a good, high-quality start. I understand, you understand?

After some thought, Cueto revealed that it was the White Sox’s surge of power in the fifth inning that gave him the strength to finish his start with two effective innings.

“After Homers, you have to do it.”

Cueto’s seven starts with six innings or more now lead the team despite making his season debut more than a month later. His start on Tuesday also made five straight games for White Sox starters going at least six deep. The team now hopes this performance will give him the strength to keep working until the All-Star break.

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