White Sox

White Sox record that 'one' much needed win against Tigers

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White Sox record that 'one' much needed win against Tigers

Their losing streak was at five games but it had been nine days since the White Sox left the ballpark feeling good.

And while they know Tuesday night’s 5-2 win over the Detroit Tigers was full of mistakes they must fix, the White Sox can live with that reality given the end result. For after they endured an almost indescribable week of hardships, some out of their control but the majority of their own doing, the White Sox felt their first positive feeling since they beat the Kansas City Royals twice on April 26.

“Wins always feel pretty good, but there’s certain times when you just need one and this would definitely qualify as one of those times,” said designated hitter Adam LaRoche. “We’ve had the situation in Baltimore, a bunch of off days there and then we got a bunch of guys sick and nothing really coming together. It seemed like everything was falling apart, so it was nice.”

[MORE: White Sox preach accountability as losing streak comes to an end]

When they left Chicago on April 26, the White Sox had played their best baseball of the season against the Royals. The defense looked sharp and the pitching was strong enough to take two of three from the defending American League champions.

But everything quickly went downhill.

Monday’s riots left the team hidden inside their hotel for two days except for a Tuesday workout. They followed that up with a resounding loss to the Baltimore Orioles in the most surreal setting for a game in major league history and then were hit hard by flu-like symptoms that were bad enough to send Adam Eaton home two days early.

On the field, the team’s starting pitching went in the tank, as did it’s offense, and the defense and base running were atrocious. But during a team meeting Tuesday, one shortstop Alexei Ramirez said through an interpreter wasn’t out of the norm, players and coaches stressed that “the past was the past” and they needed to focus on the Detroit Tigers.

Jeff Samardzija helped stop the White Sox woes with seven strong innings, pitching around three errors.

“That was a terrible road trip for us, we weren’t happy with the way it went,” Samardzija said. “It wasn’t the most normal road trip in the world with what happened in Baltimore and everything. So we just needed to regroup and understand that we have a great team here and we just need to go out and do what we do. We came out and played a strong game and hopefully we can do it again tomorrow.”

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Ramirez said the White Sox have to keep the focus. There’s no question much more is needed if the White Sox are to get back on track after a 9-14 start. The defense has been shaky, players have made poor decisions defensively and on the bases and the offense hasn’t put together a consistent run to date.

“There's definitely some things in there we don't like seeing,” manager Robin Ventura said. “You have to be able to clean it up to win consistently. That's never going to change.”

But for now, they’ll take what they’ve been given and build from there. Hard as it is to say any team is desperate for a victory only 23 games into the season, this may have been as close as it gets.

“Some of those wins, it doesn’t save your season, but it can definitely boost just that team confidence and morale,” LaRoche said. “Come out tomorrow feeling a little bit better. You come back and you’ve lost four or five games in a row and it sucks, it’s depressing. This is nice.”

Reynaldo Lopez offers hope for improved second half with quality start in Oakland

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USA TODAY

Reynaldo Lopez offers hope for improved second half with quality start in Oakland

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.

 

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White Sox activate Dylan Covey from IL, designate Juan Minaya for assignment

White Sox activate Dylan Covey from IL, designate Juan Minaya for assignment

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.

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