LOS ANGELES (AP) Juan Rivera tied the score in the ninth with a sacrifice fly - three innings after the Dodgers had one taken away on an appeal play - and Dee Gordon singled home the winning run in the 10th to give Los Angeles a 2-1 victory Sunday in the rubber game of an interleague series between division leaders. Tony Gwynn Jr. lined a one-out triple under the glove of a diving Jordan Danks as he charged the ball in left field. Matt Treanor followed with a hard grounder to second baseman Gordon Beckham with the infield in, forcing Gwynn to stay put. Bobby Abreu was intentionally walked and Gordon lined a single to left against Matt Thornton (2-5), whose wild pitch in the ninth inning of Friday's series opener let in the winning run. Ronald Belisario (3-0) pitched two hitless innings for the victory. Dodgers left-hander Chris Capuano yielded a run and eight hits over eight innings and had a season-high 12 strikeouts, after going 5-0 with a 1.66 ERA in his six previous home starts with Los Angeles. Chicago rookie Jose Quintana scattered five hits over eight scoreless innings, striking out six and walking none in his seventh big league start. The 23-year-old left-hander was removed by first-year manager Robin Ventura with a 1-0 lead after just 77 pitches. Addison Reed absorbed his first blown save in nine chances this season. Singles by Abreu and Elian Herrera put runners at the corners with one out. Abreu scored on Rivera's sacrifice fly to right. Treanor led off the sixth with a bunt single and was at third base when Herrera hit what appeared to be a tying sac fly. But Treanor was called out to end the inning after umpire Jerry Meals ruled that he left the bag too soon. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly got into a heated and animated argument with Meals, resulting in his fourth ejection of the season and seventh in less than 1 12 years on the job. It didn't end there, as Mattingly stood nose-to-nose with Meals for more than a minute before and after third base ump and crew chief Gary Darling joined the fray. When he was done with Meals, Mattingly got into Darling's face on his way back to the plate and waved his arms up and down like a bird in flight before finally retreating to the clubhouse. Capuano matched zeros with Quintana until the sixth, when Brent Lillibridge led off with a single and continued to second on Herrera's error in left field. Lillibridge went to third on a groundout by Beckham and scored on Dayan Viciedo's single after slugger Adam Dunn struck out for the third straight time. Treanor, the Dodgers' backup catcher, was credited with a rare unassisted double play in the second. Tyler Flowers leaned over the plate after taking a called third strike, impeding Treanor's throw to second with Danks running on the pitch, and was called for batter interference by Darling. Viciedo, batting cleanup with Paul Konerko getting the day off, was robbed of a hit in the fourth when Andre Ethier made a diving grab in short right-center. Two innings later, the Gold Glove winner made a sliding catch of Alex Rios' Texas Leaguer to end the sixth. Ethier stole the show in the eighth, robbing Lillibridge of extra bases with a leaping grab of his hard-hit ball at the top of the fence. Ethier hasn't committed an error since July 9, 2010. NOTES: A ceremonial first pitch was thrown by U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Christopher Farias, who was thrown for a loop when he realized the catcher was his father, Lawrence - dressed in a Dodgers uniform and mask when he sprung the surprise. ... Dunn, who leads the majors with 23 home runs, also has struck out a major league-leading 104 times. ... The Dodgers' quirky schedule includes a nine-game California road trip that begins Tuesday night in Oakland, then swings down to Anaheim for a three-game series with the Angels and ends back in the Bay Area against San Francisco. ... White Sox RHP Zach Stewart, who has a 5.19 ERA in 17 relief appearances, will make his first start of the season Monday night against Cubs RHP Matt Garza at U.S. Cellular Field.
Rebuilds are full of surprises.
Fans can pencil in any names they want into their 2020 lineups, but there’s almost no one who’s going to have a 100-percent success rate when it comes to predicting exactly what the next contending White Sox team will look like.
Reynaldo Lopez carried plenty of hype when he was acquired from the Washington Nationals in the Adam Eaton deal prior following the 2016 season. He had a high prospect ranking before he was called up last summer. He hasn’t materialized out of nowhere.
But with names like Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech, Alec Hansen, Carlos Rodon and others to compete with for one of those coveted rotation spots of the future, was anyone going to use the term “ace” to describe Lopez?
Well, in this rebuilding season’s most pleasant surprise for the White Sox and their fans, that’s exactly what Lopez has been. He’s been hands down the team’s best starting pitcher, and he’s making the case that he shouldn’t be considered an ancillary piece in this rebuilding process but a featured one.
He might not be getting the attention that others are. But he’s doing the most with his opportunity of being at the big league level right now. In the end, as long as you’re getting batters out, who cares how much attention you get?
“It’s not about what people say or what they are talking about,” Lopez said through a translator. “It’s about the confidence I have in myself, and I have plenty of confidence in myself. For me, I’m the best. I’m not saying the other guys are not. I’m just saying that’s the confidence I have. When I’m on the mound, I’m the best and I don’t care about the rest.”
Sunday marked the best start of Lopez’s young career, so said the pitcher himself. He was terrific in shutting down the visiting Texas Rangers, holding them to just two hits over eight scoreless innings.
It was one heck of a bounce-back performance considering what happened last time out, when he was roughed up for six runs in just two innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The difference? His attitude, his focus, his intensity, his conviction.
“I just changed my attitude in the game,” Lopez said. “I was more positive today than I was in my last outing and that was one of my biggest differences.”
“I do think he came out a little bit more focused, to be honest,” manager Rick Renteria said. “The intensity level was a little higher today. I think he threw the first couple pitches 97, 98 miles an hour, where his last outing they were at 93, 94. There wasn’t a whole lot of commitment or conviction to his pitches (against the Pirates). I think, as we talked after the last outing, (pitching coach Don Cooper) spoke to him a little about making sure he brought that intensity that he has the ability to do, to bring it from Pitch 1 and he did today.”
Renteria liked it all, and he saw something different in his pitcher when he went out to talk to him with two outs in the eighth. Lopez issued a two-out walk, and Renteria considered lifting Lopez from the game.
Lopez made sure his manager wouldn’t pull the plug on this outing.
“I hid the baseball in my glove because I didn’t want to leave the game,” Lopez said. “I asked me, ‘How are you? Are you good?’ And I told him, ‘Yes, I’m good.’ Then he asked me again, ‘Do you think you are able to get him out?’ And I said yes, ‘This is my game, and I’m going to finish it.’”
What did Lopez do with his extra life? He finished it all right, blowing Shin-Soo Choo away with a 96-mile-an-hour fastball. Then he showed as much emotion as he’s ever shown on a major league field. He earned that celebration.
“When you see your manager come out and you’ve already gone through most of your game in terms of what you might think you have in number of pitches available to you, and you reiterate that you want to finish a particular batter because you want to get out of that inning, and you do it, it's an accomplishment,” Renteria said. “It's a big accomplishment. For him, pretty good hitter. He battled him and he was able to get out of that inning and complete a very, very strong eight-inning outing.”
It’s the kind of exclamation point on a dominant afternoon that could stir some big plans in White Sox fans always dreaming of the future. What Lopez has done this season has been a strong case for a spot in that future rotation and a spot at the front of it, at that. Following Sunday’s gem, Lopez owns a 2.98 ERA with at least six strikeouts in four of his nine starts.
There’s a lot of development and a lot of time left before the White Sox contention window opens. But Lopez pitching like this offers a glimpse into the crystal ball, a look at what could be for an organization that’s acquired so much talent over the last two years.
You might not have seen it coming like this, but the future arriving in the form of Lopez is a sign that brighter days are ahead on the South Side.
Carlos Rodon's return to the South Side is coming soon.
The top-five draft pick recovering from last fall's shoulder surgery made his first rehab start Saturday with Class A Kannapolis and threw well. Rodon allowed just one run on three hits in his five innings of work, striking out six and walking none.
The White Sox announced Sunday that Rodon's second rehab start will come Thursday with Triple-A Charlotte.
As for the exact date Rodon returns to the big league roster, it's unknown at this point. General manager Rick Hahn said that Rodon will make multiple rehab starts. One might look to the pitcher's recovery from a spring injury last year as a guide. Rodon made four rehab starts in June before debuting with the White Sox on June 28.
This recovery is different, of course. Rodon is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on May 28.