White Sox

White Sox fall behind early, lose to Indians

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White Sox fall behind early, lose to Indians

 

CLEVELAND -- A long, rough week for the White Sox ended in similar fashion on Sunday afternoon.

The Cleveland Indians scored three times apiece against John Danks and Zach Putnam to send the White Sox to a 6-3 defeat and clinch a series victory at Progressive Field. Lonnie Chisenhall had a two-run homer and the Indians scored three in the second against Danks, who has lost 13 of 20 decisions. Jose Abreu singled in two runs for the White Sox, who lost for the fifth time in eight tries and open a four-game series with a doubleheader in Detroit on Monday.

“They made (Danks) work,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He gave us an opportunity. He just ran out of innings and pitches.”
Cleveland didn’t get to Danks in the first inning, but he still required 29 pitches to work around a single and a walk.
Danks wasn’t as fortunate in the second inning as Yan Gomes singled ahead of Chisenhall’s two-run blast to right. Abraham Almonte followed with a double and later scored on an RBI single by Francisco Lindor.

Danks threw 56 pitches through his first two innings and needed 110 pitches to complete five innings. With Monday’s doubleheader looming, the White Sox hoped Danks --- who allowed three earned runs and seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts --- could go deeper into the start.

[MORE: Monday's doubleheader to determine when Chris Sale pitches next]

“They weren’t as aggressive early in the at-bat as they had been the last couple of days and I wasn’t able to force them to start swinging,” Danks said.

“You’ve got to tip your hat, they did a good job of fouling off some good pitches and waiting me out and before you know it the pitch count is up there and we’re in the bullpen,” he added. “I needed to go a lot deeper than this.” 

Cleveland gave itself an extra cushion with three doubles in the sixth inning off Putnam. Chisenhall doubled in a run, Lindor had a sac fly and Michael Brantley doubled in another to make it 6-0.

“We tried to climb back into it and then let it slip away a bit,” Ventura said.

The contest ended what has been one of the team’s worst weeks of the season.
They were routed twice, losing by 11 runs on both Tuesday and Friday night. They won on Monday but only after they blew a four-run lead in the ninth inning and topped Oakland in 14.

The White Sox lost Thursday’s game in heartbreaking fashion when David Robertson gave up a three-run homer in the ninth inning. And even Saturday’s victory included another near-blown save by Robertson, who picked off the tying run to end it.
Still, the White Sox made a game of it after Indians starter Josh Tomlin departed.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Abreu’s blooper to shallow right off Zach McAllister scored two in the seventh inning. Alexei Ramirez had an RBI ground out off Bryan Shaw in the eighth to score Trayce Thompson, who had earlier doubled.

The White Sox had earlier chances but never broke through against Tomlin, who also beat them on Sept. 9. Unlike that contest, where the White Sox knocked Tomlin out with a three-run rally in the sixth inning, they didn’t get the big hit on Sunday. Tomlin hit and walked a batter in the second inning but got Tyler Flowers to fly out. He worked around a double and a walk in the fifth as he struck out the side.

“He has been very effective in locating the pitches where he wants to put it,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “For me that’s been the key for him. He’s been very accurate, throwing his pitches in the right spot and where he wants to put it.”

 

Reynaldo Lopez is changing his place in the White Sox rebuild: 'When I'm on the mound, I'm the best and I don't care about the rest'

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USA TODAY

Reynaldo Lopez is changing his place in the White Sox rebuild: 'When I'm on the mound, I'm the best and I don't care about the rest'

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 first rehab start went well, White Sox set date for next one

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USA TODAY

Carlos Rodon's first rehab start went well, White Sox set date for next one

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.