CHICAGO -- Reynaldo Lopez didn't know what to expect prior to his Saturday afternoon start during a 5-0 White Sox loss to the Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field.At 5 p.m. CT on Friday, the 24-year-old became a father for the first time when his wife, Jhilaris, gave birth to their
CHICAGO -- Reynaldo Lopez didn't know what to expect prior to his Saturday afternoon start during a 5-0 White Sox loss to the Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field.
At 5 p.m. CT on Friday, the 24-year-old became a father for the first time when his wife, Jhilaris, gave birth to their daughter Zoe. Lopez got plenty of sleep Friday and confirmed his readiness to White Sox manager Rick Renteria via text, but he still wasn't sure how he would perform.
Lopez's answer by 5 p.m. Saturday was 'impressive"
"Actually yes, it was impressive," Lopez said through interpreter Billy Russo after throwing 108 pitches over 7 2/3 innings. "When I came in, in the morning, I was feeling good, but because all the things that were happening around me, I thought maybe I'll throw four, five innings, and maybe my fastball today is going to be around 92 mph.
"But actually, I felt really good. My pitches were good, my fastball was upper-90s, I was in control and command of all of my pitches, and I was able to throw 7 2/3. It was a really good outing. I just made two mistakes and I paid for them, and that's baseball."
Those two mistakes bookended Lopez's outing in the loss, dropping the White Sox to 32-62 on the season. Whit Merrifield singled and Jorge Bonifacio homered to open the game before the smoke from pregame fireworks had even disappeared. And on an 0-2 pitch to Salvador Perez in the eighth, the Royals All-Star connected on a 98-mph fastball for a two-run home run.
"[Lopez] worked as good as you can ask anybody to work," Renteria said. "He was grinding the whole way. We didn't score any runs, so it makes it look a little worse than it was. But I thought he ended up working well, even after the first inning two-run home run. Settled down, [and pitched] very, very well."
Lopez was noticeably upset about his last pitch of the game, reacting angrily in the dugout. He calmly said afterwards he should have gone with his changeup, but he shook off catcher Kevan Smith to throw a fastball.
"It wasn't a bad pitch, but it wasn't the right pitch in that moment. It was my mistake. I was stubborn to throw that pitch and I paid for it," Lopez said. "Changeup would have been the best pitch selection in that sequence, because that was the first pitch that I threw [Perez] in that at-bat and he swung and missed."
The White Sox looked for a time as if they lost a game and their starting second baseman. Yoan Moncada's injury during an eventful fifth inning appeared to be more painful than the setback, but he was diagnosed with a bruised right knee and is listed as day to day after getting hit on the inside of the knee by a would-be Lopez pickoff attempt. The hope is that Moncada will play Sunday.
Danny Duffy gave the White Sox some opportunities over his seven scoreless innings, putting two runners on base in each of the third, fourth and sixth innings, but he never gave up a run. He fanned eight and walked three over 114 pitches.
Duffy was a little better than Lopez, who was sporting a pink glove featuring the name of his first child as he struck out seven and didn't issue a walk. Lopez recorded eight swinging strikes off of his fastball, and six on the slider, per Statcast™.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Renteria exits early: Renteria was ejected in the fifth inning by home-plate umpire Adam Hamari during an Alcides Escobar at-bat. The White Sox had questions about Hamari's strike zone during the early portion of the contest, but the ejection came off of a 1-2 checked swing going in Escobar's favor. It was Renteria's 16th career ejection and third this season.
"In the moment, it looked like the same check swing that [Yolmer Sanchez] was called a strike on, and that's all it was," Renteria said. "These guys are going out there trying to do the best they possibly can. I just had a difference of opinion."
The 62 losses for the White Sox represent the most before the All-Star break in club history.
HE SAID IT
"I trusted my fastball today. I was feeling great with that pitch. I was in control and command of that pitch. I was a little hyped, too, because of the birth of my baby, and I think that was a help." -- Lopez, on his outing
RHP Lucas Giolito (5-8, 6.59 ERA) is scheduled to make his 19th start of 2018, 10th at home and third vs. Kansas City with a 1:10 p.m. CT first pitch Sunday in the last game before the All-Star break. Giolito is 2-0 with a 2.52 ERA, 11 strikeouts and a .209 opponents' average in four career starts vs. the Royals. Burch Smith will start for the Royals.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.