White Sox

White Sox offense struggles again in loss to Rays

White Sox offense struggles again in loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Jose Quintana missed the bag on Sunday afternoon.

The White Sox and their struggling offense missed out on a chance to earn another series victory.

Quintana’s two-out error in the third inning allowed a critical run to score as the Tampa Bay Rays held on to send the White Sox to a 3-2 loss in front of 21,810 at Tropicana Field. Matt Moore struck out 10 over 6 1/3 dominant innings to outdo Quintana, who struck out six himself.

“You end up missing first and it ends up costing you,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “That’s how close it. Moore was fantastic and something like that ends up costing Q.”

Though he ultimately settled in to face the minimum over his final three innings, Quintana got hit hard early. Tampa Bay scored once in the first inning on a Steve Pearce RBI double to center.

The Rays really made Quintana labor in the third with the score tied at 1.

Logan Forsythe doubled and scored on a Brandon Guyer RBI single, one of four hits for the right fielder. After Evan Longoria singled, Quintana battled back and struck out Pearce and retired Desmond Jennings on a pop out to second. Quintana appeared to get out of the jam with just the run allowed as Logan Morrison hit a grounder to first. But even though Jose Abreu made a nice flip, Quintana missed tagging the base by a wide margin, which allowed Guyer to score all the way from second for a 3-1 lead.

“Jose did a good job,” Quintana said. “I caught the ball. He threw it to me in a good spot. But I never saw the base, and that was the point. I just missed the base. When we play in this situation, you try to go in a good direction, but that’s all. I just missed the base.”

Moore made a similar error in the top of the third that gave the White Sox their first hit (an Adam Eaton infield single) and sparked a game-tying, two-out rally as Austin Jackson singled to right to drive in a run.

But that was the last mistake Moore made until he tired in the seventh inning.

Moore struck out Jose Abreu to strand runners on the corners and end the rally, which prompted the slugger to hit his bat in frustration.

Using a fastball-knuckle curve combo, Moore retired 11 of the next 12 he faced.

This is what happens when a cold offense (see: 15 runs in six games) runs into a pitcher who spotted his fastball outside and had his offspeed diving inside to righties.

“We’ve been struggling,” Ventura said. “But today, I don’t know too many teams that would go up against Moore and do anything. He was fantastic and it was coming out of his hand great and we scuffled. We’re a swing-and-miss kind of team and we’ve got some pop with it, but today he was just better.”

The left-hander struck out Todd Frazier and Jerry Sands three times each.

It wasn’t until Brett Lawrie doubled in the seventh that the White Sox got to Moore again. Avisail Garcia singled in Lawrie to make it a 3-2 game and chase Moore, who gave up five hits and hit one. But the combination of Enny Romero and Alex Colome combined to retire eight of nine batters to close out the game.

Frazier struck out again to start the ninth inning ahead of a walk by pinch-hitter Melky Cabrera. Colome battled back and induced a Brett Lawrie pop out and Garcia grounder to end the game.

Frazier, who has struck out 14 times in 49 at-bats, praised Moore’s effort. He also noted that the White Sox, himself included, missed hittable pitches.

Though the White Sox offense struggled on the road, the team won four of six. Frazier is taking solace in that despite the team’s slow offensive start.

“It’s been a rough stretch,” Frazier said. “But if you’d tell me we’d be 8-4 right now, I’d say that’s great, good start. You’ve got to work on the positives. It’s just one of those days. It has been adding up a little bit. It’s early, but at the same time, you want to be doing well. Maybe trying a little too much. But we’ll take 8-4 any day of the week.”

Daily White Sox prospects update: Zack Collins hits a pair of homers


Daily White Sox prospects update: Zack Collins hits a pair of homers

Here's your daily update on what the White Sox highly touted prospects are doing in the minor leagues.

Double-A Birmingham

Zack Collins hit two home runs as part of a three-hit day. He drove in two runs, scored two runs and walked once in a 10-4 loss. Collins now has seven homers on the campaign with an ungodly .421 on-base percentage. He's batting .326 over his last 25 games. Eloy Jimenez had two hits and a walk, and Jordan Guerrero gave up four runs and walked five in four innings.

Class A Winston-Salem

The Dash lost both games of a doubleheader, 10-5 and 7-0. Luis Alexander Basabe, Alex Call and Gavin Sheets each picked up two hits on the day.

Triple-A Charlotte

Charlie Tilson had a hit and scored a run in a 2-1 loss.

Class A Kannapolis

Luis Gonzalez had a hit in a 2-1 win.

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'


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.