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Lopez spins gem, helps White Sox blank O's

Righty logs 4th straight quality start with 7 scoreless frames
September 15, 2018

The at-bat between White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez and Timothy Beckham lasted 10 pitches during the seventh inning of a 2-0 White Sox victory over the Orioles Saturday night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.It took place with Trey Mancini on second, Chris Davis on first and Lopez trying to

The at-bat between White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez and Timothy Beckham lasted 10 pitches during the seventh inning of a 2-0 White Sox victory over the Orioles Saturday night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
It took place with Trey Mancini on second, Chris Davis on first and Lopez trying to protect a slim advantage in search of the team's third straight victory on this road trip. Beckham fouled off six pitches in working the count full, before swinging and missing at a Lopez slider for the second out of the frame.

Lopez pounded his glove after the big strikeout, and then composed himself to retire Renato Nunez on a weak popup to first baseman Jose Abreu. It was the end of the evening for Lopez, but it was once again a job well done.
"I'm very satisfied that I was able to manage the jam, the situation in that inning," said Lopez through interpreter Billy Russo. "I was just trying to keep the control of the game. Sometimes, the game is a little fast and you have to control it. You have to slow down. I was able to slow down the game and perform."
"He was just able to continue to command to the best of his ability. He needed to eat those outs up for us to allow us to do what we did on the back side," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He's showing you he's got endurance, he's got strength, he's gaining understanding of the situation, how to work through and manage those situations, which is really big."
Over his seven innings and 104 pitches, Lopez struck out six and walked one while yielding four hits. Saturday's effort marked Lopez's third time in four starts where he worked at least seven innings, and in his last 27 innings covering four starts, Lopez has given up two earned runs while striking out 28 and walking six.
Davidson returns to lineup after resting calf
Baltimore had 11 swinging strikes against Lopez, per Statcast™, with six coming against the slider, and none bigger than Beckham's in the seventh. Lopez also produced 21 called strikes, with 13 coming off a fastball topping out at 98.2 mph.
"Good job by Lopey. Just really threw the ball well," Renteria said. "Change was working. Fastball was hitting spots. Very successful getting out of that seventh inning."
Yolmer Sanchez drove in the game's first run with a two-out double off Yefry Ramirez in the sixth. His double easily scored Yoan Moncada, who also had doubled with two outs. That run stood up until Avisail Garcia connected for his 18th home run of the season, and his 75th career homer, with two outs in the ninth. Garcia also matched his single-season career-high for homers, set in 2017.

"I was looking for a breaking pitch. They had been throwing it to me all night. I was around the ball a little bit. … But the last at-bat, I made the adjustment, and I got it," Garcia said. "We came here to play 100 percent … and try to do our best and try to win every single game. Just trying to do our job."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Minaya closes it out: Despite giving up a single and a walk in the ninth inning, Juan Minaya picked up his first save of the season with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Minaya was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte after an outing on May 3 with a 10.80 ERA in five games at that time. Since his return on June 14, Minaya has posted a 2.75 ERA in 39 1/3 innings over 41 games, with 49 strikeouts and 19 walks.

SOUND SMART
The White Sox are 14-5 on the road since Aug. 3, the second-best record in the Major Leagues behind Houston (15-5). They have outscored their opponents, 93-71, during that span.
HE SAID IT
"I am feeling good. We know that in a long season, the last month is probably the hardest one, and that is the way it was working. Now, I'm feeling good. My body is good. My arm is very strong."-- Lopez
UP NEXT
Right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito (10-10, 5.76 ERA) is scheduled to make his 30th start of 2018, 16th on the road and second career against the Orioles with a 12:05 p.m. CT first pitch Sunday afternoon. Giolito is 3-1 with a 4.01 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings over his last five starts. He still leads the American League with 81 walks. David Hess will take the hill for Baltimore at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.