Reynaldo Lopez had a first half to forget, but the White Sox pitcher had a strong first start in the second half.
Lopez struck out seven while giving up only an unearned run in six innings of work in Oakland. He settled for a no-decision after the bullpen couldn’t hold a 2-1 lead for him.
The right-hander entered the game with the highest ERA among qualified starters. Six innings later with no earned runs and Lopez has passed that title on to Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez.
Only one other time this season has Lopez had a start without allowing an earned run. That was April 28 against Detroit when Lopez struck out 14 batters in six innings.
He threw 62 of his 93 pitches for strikes and got 17 swinging strikes. The swinging strikes were below his season average whiff rate, which was 22.6 percent entering Sunday, but he threw far more strikes than his season average.
Lopez, 25, got fans excited with a decent 2018 season that featured a 3.91 ERA. However, his strikeout rate is up (8.05 K/9 in 2019 vs. 7.2 in 2018) and walk rate is down (3.46 BB/9 in 2019 vs. 3.58 in 2018) compared to last year. He’s just getting hit much harder this season.
It was just one start, but Lopez offered some hope for him being a different pitcher in the second half, as he said after his previous start on July 4.
Meanwhile, the White Sox lost 3-2 to complete a series sweep for the A’s. Eloy Jimenez hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh, but the A’s answered with a Ramon Laureano solo shot off Evan Marshall in the bottom half. Then, the A’s opened the ninth with a pair of blooped singles and won the game on a throwing error by Jose Rondon.
The White Sox were also swept in Oakland last year and have lost eight straight in Oakland Coliseum.
The White Sox starting rotation received a boost on Saturday in the form of Dylan Covey.
Ahead of Saturday's game against the Athletics, the White Sox activated Covey from the 10-day injured list. In a corresponding move, the team designated reliever Juan Minaya for assignment.
Covey, who will start Saturday's game, landed on the injured list on June 9 with right shoulder inflammation. Although Covey holds a 4.58 ERA in nine games (seven starts) this season, he posted back-to-back solid outings before hitting the shelf. He allowed one earned run in six innings on May 31 against the Indians and two earned runs in five innings on June 5 against the Nationals.
The White Sox starting rotation has been a revolving door of sorts this season as Michael Kopech and Carlos Rodon recover from Tommy John surgery. Since Covey went down, the team has started Odrisamer Despaigne (June 10, 16 and 22), Manny Bañuelos (June 11 and 15), Carson Fulmer (June 25, though in a bullpen day) and most recently Ross Detwiler (June 28 and July 3). Dylan Cease has since made his major league debut, too, of course.
Detwiler has pitched admirably, allowing just two earned runs in each of his two outings. Whether he will continue to start or move to the bullpen is yet to be seen, though the fact that Minaya was DFA-ed rather than Detwiler says something.
Minaya holds a 3.90 ERA in 22 games/27 2/3 innings this season, though 10 of the 12 earned runs he's allowed this season came in June and July.
Following today's moves, the White Sox 40-man roster now stands at 39.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.