TORONTO -- Reynaldo Lopez gave the White Sox another exciting look at their future on Monday in Toronto as he lit up the radar gun over six strong innings.Manager Rick Renteria was happy with Lopez's outing despite the 4-2 loss to the Blue Jays, which sets up the 24-year-old for
TORONTO -- Reynaldo Lopez gave the White Sox another exciting look at their future on Monday in Toronto as he lit up the radar gun over six strong innings.
Manager Rick Renteria was happy with Lopez's outing despite the 4-2 loss to the Blue Jays, which sets up the 24-year-old for a strong season of development surrounded by Chicago's many other young talents.
"He really did a nice job and was attacking the strike zone," Renteria said after the game. "Obviously got a little more taxed in the sixth, but he did a nice job and kept us completely in the ballgame."
Lopez held the Blue Jays hitless until the bottom of the fifth inning, when a ground ball off the bat of Curtis Granderson gave Tim Anderson trouble as he moved to his left and was ruled a base hit. Lopez's lone blemish otherwise was a solo home run surrendered to Josh Donaldson. Lopez finished with a line of one run allowed on two hits over six innings with six strikeouts and two walks.
After seeing his average fastball velocity drop from 96.5 mph to 94.6 mph over the last two seasons, Lopez was back to living in the high 90s on Monday.
"I felt pretty good," Lopez said through a team translator. "I didn't know that I was throwing that hard today, but Welington [Castillo] told me that I was throwing pretty good, pretty hard. I feel good about it.".
Lopez averaged 96.4 mph on his fastball according to Statcast™, and his arm was especially hot in the early innings. Lopez touched 99.1 mph on back-to-back pitches in his first battle with Donaldson.
Renteria's optimism surrounding Lopez lies not just in his raw physical talents, but his makeup on the mound. He commented prior to the game on how determined Lopez is when it comes to his craft, and believes that this will help him to control that velocity deep into games.
"I think he's actually a pretty poised young man," Renteria said. "He got his taste of the big leagues last year with us. I think he used that experience to his advantage. He goes out there wanting to throw strikes. He tries to stay within himself. Guys that have that type of arm, if they do that, they have the ability to work through what he did today."
Castillo was the offensive star for Chicago, belting his first two home runs of the season. Jose Abreu also went 3-for-4 with a double, but the White Sox still fell short with a top-heavy approach as the other seven hitters in the lineup combined to go just 1-for-22.
Reliever Danny Farquhar took the loss after surrendering a pair of home runs to Russell Martin and Aledmys Diaz.
"The one to Russell, it was probably a little bit lower than I would have liked it in a perfect world," Farquhar said after reviewing the video. "It wasn't bad. Well, obviously it was, because it went over the fence. The other one, the guy put a good swing on a fastball and it got out of here."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Martin puts Toronto in front: Martin's two-run home run put the Blue Jays out in front, 3-2, in the bottom of the seventh, and that was all they needed. It was Martin's first home run of the season and travelled 372 feet, scoring Curtis Granderson, who had walked earlier in the inning.
Castillo crushes it: Castillo opened the scoring in the top of the fourth inning with a solo shot to deep left field. According to Statcast™, Castillo's first of the season was projected to travel 409 feet and it left his bat at 108 mph. Blue Jays starter Jaime Garcia had faced just two batters over the minimum up until that point, but one swing was all it took to put Chicago in front.
In the seventh inning, Castillo went back to work and once again put the White Sox in front. This time, it was a solo homer off Seunghwan Oh that temporarily gave Chicago a 2-1 lead.
"It started a couple of years ago. I tried to get the outfielder's attention, but I can't whistle, so one day I YouTubed how to whistle. Couldn't get it. I bought a Fox 40 and it's been with me ever since." -- White Sox coach, Daryl Boston, on the whistle he uses from the dugout. Donaldson took notice of this and made a whistling gesture back to Chicago's dugout as he finished his home run trot in the sixth inning.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Monday's loss kept the White Sox from opening their season 3-0, which would have been the first time they'd accomplished that since 1992.
Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez will make his 2018 debut with the White Sox on Tuesday at 6:07 p.m. CT against the Blue Jays in Toronto. Gonzalez rejoined the White Sox this offseason after making 22 starts for them in 2017.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the White Sox on Monday.