White Sox

White Sox stun Tigers with four in eighth to win second straight


White Sox stun Tigers with four in eighth to win second straight

Their ace got hit hard and they stranded nine runners through the first seven innings on Wednesday night. Given everything that occurred the week before, nobody would have been surprised if the White Sox wilted against the Detroit Tigers and tried to salvage a series victory on Thursday afternoon.

But the belief everyone wearing black and white has consistently talked about, that things would eventually turn in their favor, materialized against Joba Chamberlain in the bottom of the eighth inning.

The result was an improbable, two-out rally as the White Sox batted around to top the Tigers 7-6 at U.S. Cellular Field. Melky Cabrera blasted a game-tying, three-run homer and Avisail Garcia provided the White Sox with their sixth straight two-out hit, a single to center to drive in the go-ahead run.

“We’re a very confident team regardless of what we’ve been through this past week,” rookie Micah Johnson said. “No one thinks we’re out of it in the dugout whatsoever. … The sense of confidence we have is pretty unbelievable. Everyone just passed the torch down to the next guy and everybody in the lineup gets up and it’s like, they’re going to get a hit.”

[MORE: Carlos Rodon ready to make first MLB start Saturday]

Though they had a good approach and knocked Detroit starter Alfredo Simon out after five innings and three runs, the White Sox didn’t have much to show for their effort. Through seven innings, the White Sox stranded nine base runners.

Everything changed against Chamberlain.

“It hurts every time you don't get one,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It's almost like golf when you miss a birdie, you feel like you really don't get that many opportunities. For us, they just kept putting it together.”

Johnson, who said he was “amped” after the first three-hit game of his career, singled with two outs. Adam Eaton, who also reached three times, lined one off the glove of third baseman Nick Castellanos into left field for a hit.

Cabrera then rocketed a 1-1 slider from Chamberlain into the right-field bleachers to stun a crowd subdued by 13 combined walks between the two teams.

But the White Sox didn’t stop there.

Jose Abreu singled to left and Adam LaRoche, who had two hits and a walk, singled him over to third base. Even though he fell behind 0-2 in the count, Garcia singled to center to complete the comeback.

“We needed that,” said Garcia, who was looking for a slider. “We needed to come back like that late in the game. If we keep doing that, we are going to be good for us.”

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Get the latest White Sox gear here]

The turnaround is a nice change of pace for Sale, who has done most of the heavy lifting for the White Sox the past two seasons. On a night in which he was off, the offense took care of Sale.

After he established a career record for runs allowed in his past outing, Sale tied a career high with five walks.

Not only did Sale walk batters, he didn’t have his customary command, making two-strike mistakes to Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera and the duo made him pay. Martinez hit a two-run homer on a 0-2 changeup to give Detroit a 3-1 lead. Two innings later, Cabrera singled with two strikes to drive in a run as the Tigers moved ahead 4-3. Sale escaped a fifth-inning jam but got back into trouble again in the sixth, which resulted in a run.

All things considered, catcher Tyler Flowers thought Sale played a key role. He was noticeably off and things could have been much worse. Instead, Sale limited the Tigers to five runs despite putting 12 men on base in 5 1/3 innings.

Combined with the bullpen, Sale gave the White Sox a chance to hang around -- something the team has been insisting all along is what matters right now.

Sale thinks Wednesday’s win can only boost confidence even more.

“It definitely feels good,” Sale said. “When you’re down in the dumps and all of a sudden you turn it around, you win a game like we did tonight, I think it’s going to help our morale and our mentality and give us a jolt going forward.”


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.