Bullpen spoils Lopez's gem as Sox drop G1

June 5th, 2018

MINNESOTA -- Reliever Nate Jones allowed four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, spoiling a dazzling performance by starter as the White Sox fell to the Twins, 4-2, in the first game of Tuesday's traditional doubleheader at Target Field.

Lopez pitched seven scoreless innings with just one hit allowed.

Jones (2-2), who's recently worked as Chicago's closer, had his second blown save of the season with a walk and three hits, including 's go-ahead three-run homer to center field with two outs.

"I knew we were trying to set up in off the plate and [catcher ] said he got back over the heart of the plate," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He's just got a lot of area to hit."

Chicago lost for the sixth time in its past eight games. Tuesday's first game was a makeup from the April 13-15 series in Minnesota that saw three games postponed because of snow.

Jones, who entered the game with three straight saves and eight consecutive scoreless appearances, retired and pinch-hitter to start the eighth, but reached on a hard-hit ball to third base that couldn't corral.

walked and had an RBI single to put the Twins on the board. Escobar followed with his 11th homer of the season.

"Jonesy being one of our best, put him in that situation because we knew, potentially, it could open up and he's going to face the meat of their order," Renteria said. "He did and wasn't able to get out of it."

led off the game with his seventh homer of the year. added an RBI double in the fifth to plate Moncada for the White Sox second run.

Lopez, who was coming off a loss at Cleveland in which he allowed seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings, bounced back with one of his best outings in a breakout third season with Chicago. He allowed just one hit -- a ground-rule double to Escobar with two outs in the fourth inning -- and walked four batters to go with four strikeouts.

"All my pitches were working very good today," Lopez said through an interpreter. "I was commanding all of them. They were working good. It was a good game."

Lopez was the first White Sox starter to allow one hit in seven innings or more since did so in eight innings on May 19, 2017, at Seattle.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Moncada hit the second pitch of the game off Minnesota rookie right-hander 433 feet to center field to tie the longest home run of his career.

Moncada hit another 433-foot homer on March 31 this season.

SOUND SMART

Chicago outfielder ripped a first-inning double with a 118.4 mph exit velocity. It's the second-hardest batted ball in the Majors this season, according to Statcast™ and is the hardest-hit ball ever tracked by Statcast™ (since 2015) for a White Sox player.

HE SAID IT

"Win or lose, that's something I can't control. I can just control executing my pitches, and having command and control of my pitches. As a team, you always want to win. Losses are never easy to digest, but this is a game and you have to be ready for whatever the outcome is and you have to be ready every day to try and do your best. You can't lose your focus because maybe, one day, you didn't get the outcome you wanted. You have to keep your focus and your work and your preparation, and for me, it doesn't matter. The wins are important as a team. For me as a pitcher, what matters is just execute and do my job and give my team a chance to be in the game." -- Lopez, on the importance of pitching wins

UP NEXT

The quick turnaround for the traditional doubleheader will see right-hander (3-6, 7.53 ERA) start for Chicago against Minnesota right-hander (Major League debut). Giolito has lost his last two starts, allowing 12 earned runs in 7 1/3 innings.