Adjustments work perfectly in Lopez's best start

Prospect's improved cutter, move to middle of rubber lead to six scoreless innings vs. Giants

March 20th, 2017

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A few Spring Training changes made by White Sox starter were on display during his six scoreless innings in Monday's 3-2 loss to the Giants at Camelback Ranch.

Chicago's No. 4 prospect and the No. 46 overall in baseball per featured a cutter to lefties he's been working on with pitching coach Don Cooper. He also made a movement on the pitching rubber that paid dividends.

"What I've been trying to do is fill the strike zone with pitches," Lopez said through interpreter Billy Russo. "I was pitching more to the [right] end, and I was moved to the middle. That has been a very good improvement for me, because now I'm able to throw my pitches to where I want."

With his four strikeouts and two hits allowed, Lopez has given up three earned runs on nine hits over his last four starts, covering 18 innings. He has 14 strikeouts and four walks during that stretch, but he counts Monday's effort as his best of the Cactus League.

"Yes, this was the best," Lopez said. "The ones before were good, but this one was the best because I was able to execute all of the work that I've been putting in during my preparation.

"All of the things I've been working on with Coop, trying to move more to the middle of the box, trying to locate my pitches in the right spot ... all of those things I was able to execute today."

Renteria happy with Rodon

White Sox manager Rick Renteria praised 's four-inning shutout performance Sunday in Tempe, marking his first 2017 Cactus League appearance. But look for the southpaw to stay in the fifth starter's slot at the season's outset despite being in line to pitch Game 2.

"We have a day off [April 4] in between our initial start," Renteria said. "We're not going to move anybody forward. We're more inclined to move people back because of the day off."

If Rodon stays on regular rest, he would pitch Friday against Oakland and then the final day of Cactus League action, March 29 at home vs. San Diego. A significant gap would exist between that appearance and a potential start on April 8 against the Twins. One possibility would have Rodon throwing back in Arizona in between to stay fresh.

Third to first

is 13-for-35 with three triples over his last 15 Cactus League games.

• Nate Jones (USA), (USA) and (Puerto Rico) are the remaining White Sox players participating in the World Baseball Classic.