In the midst of another excellent start, one in which the 24-year-old righty held the Tigers to two runs on five hits Friday night in Detroit, Lopez didn't return to the mound for the eighth inning.
Instead, Renteria called upon ex-Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon to protect a two-run lead -- a decision that ultimately backfired in Chicago's 5-4 loss at Comerica Park.
"Lopez threw the ball great again. Another tremendous outing," Renteria said. "But he was out of gas after the seventh. He was done."
The switch proved costly as Rondon promptly gave up a leadoff double to Jose Iglesias before leaving a slider up to Leonys Martin, whose liner into right field plated Iglesias and put the tying run on base.
Martin's RBI single made it 4-3 and Nicholas Castellanos followed with an RBI double that scored Martin in a close play at the plate that prompted a review.
Trayce Thompson's throw home appeared to beat Martin, but the throw forced White Sox catcher Omar Narvaez slightly up the third-base line, allowing Martin to narrowly elude Narvaez's tag attempt. The call stood following a review that lasted slightly less than two minutes.
Rondon mowed down Tigers hitters in Chicago in April in what was his first appearance against his former team. But the 27-year-old former closer was unable to mimic his success Friday. It marked Chicago's fifth consecutive loss to the Tigers, dating back to last season.
"I thought Bruce's velocity was good," Renteria said. "He just left a couple sliders in the middle of the plate."
A key figure in Chicago's rebuild, Lopez held Detroit hitless through three innings Friday night before Martin broke up the no-hit bid with a sharp grounder to right field. In all, Lopez allowed just two runs, needing 96 pitches to log seven innings.
"It was a long outing, but I was feeling good," Lopez said through an interpreter. "Sometimes, the manager makes a decision that you have to agree with."
Lopez has recorded eight quality starts in his last nine games dating to last September, and has done so in dominating fashion -- particularly against the Tigers. In two starts against Detroit this season, Lopez owns a 1.29 ERA, allowing just seven hits and striking out eight. Both of his starts, however, have resulted in losses.
"On my side, I felt happy with my outing," Lopez said. "We didn't get the win today, but that happens."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED With the game tied at 4-4, White Sox reliever Jace Fry induced a soft pop-up off the bat of Jeimer Candelario with one out in the eighth inning, but Chicago first baseman Jose Abreu was unable to track down the should-be out, allowing Castellanos to score from third.
The bloop single provided what proved to be the game-winning run. The White Sox threatened in the ninth after Yolmer Sanchez led off with a single, but Tigers closer Shane Greene got Abreu to ground into a 6-4-3 double play before striking out Daniel Palka to preserve the win.
SOUND SMART Lopez has now recorded eight quality starts in his last nine games dating to last September. The 24-year-old righty has allowed two or fewer earned runs in eight of his last 10 starts, and entered Friday ranked 10th in the American League with a 2.98 ERA. He lowered it to 2.93.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS Castellanos found himself at the center of a pair of defensive highlights, including a highlight-reel catch in foul territory in the sixth inning in which he crashed into the right-field seats and proceeded to give an enthusiastic fan in the front row a high-five. The previous inning, Castellanos seemingly saved a run by throwing out Palka, who was attempting to stretch a single into a double.
"The first words out of my mouth were, 'Oh crap,'" Castellanos said, "because I knocked his beer everywhere, all over him and his wife or his girlfriend. He said, 'Well, did you at least catch it?' And I was like, yeah. And then he said, 'Yeah!' And then we high-fived. It was pretty cool, man."
HE SAID IT "I don't know if either [Yoan Moncada] or [Jose Abreu] had a good beat. Abreu is usually really, really good on those fly balls, even the ones that go behind him, like that one. He seemed to get turned around quite a bit." -- Renteria, on Candelario's go-ahead RBI bloop single
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY Castellanos' game-tying RBI double in the eighth inning scored Martin in a close play at the plate that led to a review. Thompson's throw home appeared to beat Martin, but the throw forced Narvaez slightly up the third-base line, allowing Martin to narrowly elude his attempted tag. The call stood following a review that lasted slightly less than two minutes.
UP NEXT The White Sox on Saturday will try to cool off Tigers starter Francisco Liriano, who is coming off a dominant start in which he allowed just one hit in eight scoreless innings. Chicago will counter with Hector Santiago, who has filled in capably for spot starts and now for the demoted Carson Fulmer. Santiago has allowed three or fewer runs in his last two starts. First pitch is set for 3:10 p.m. CT.
James Schmehl is a contributor to MLB.com based in Detroit.