White Sox

Eloy Jimenez finally hit his first homer on the South Side, and it was an absolute bomb

Eloy Jimenez finally hit his first homer on the South Side, and it was an absolute bomb

Eloy Jimenez is starting to heat up, and it finally turned into some home cooking.

The White Sox uber prospect finally launched his first home run on the South Side. He led off the bottom of the fourth inning Tuesday night with a titanic shot off Washington Nationals hurler Patrick Corbin that landed on the stairs leading up to the Fan Deck in center field.

The bomb traveled 462 feet and snapped his 18-game homerless drought at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Coming into Tuesday's game, Jimenez wasn't at a shortage for round trippers. He had eight of them on the season, but every one of them came on the road. Not so for Tuesday's moonshot.

Jimenez's numbers haven't exactly jumped off the page so far in 2019. He came into Tuesday's game with a .230/.278/.421 slash line to go along with the eight homers and 17 RBIs. He had 48 strikeouts compared to just nine walks. He also missed 21 games with an ankle sprain.

But things have been getting better for the rookie outfielder. In his last 11 games coming into Tuesday, he slashed .300/.333/.525 with three doubles, a couple homers, six RBIs and five runs scored. Jimenez added a walk and a run scored in his first trip to the plate Tuesday before his ninth home run of the season.

The numbers, though, won't be as easily noticed as the couple of absolute bombs he's hit in recent days. The 462-footer Tuesday night on the South Side was preceded by a 471-foot shot Sunday in Kansas City that is the team's longest homer of the season. He's got the top two entries on that list after Tuesday night.

With that first South Side homer off the to-do list, Jimenez can keep on developing in his first season in the majors.

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White Sox Talk Podcast: A.J. Reed: 'It's good to be someplace where you feel wanted'

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: A.J. Reed: 'It's good to be someplace where you feel wanted'

Chuck Garfien and Ryan McGuffey speak with new White Sox slugger A.J. Reed.

Could he be the left power DH the White Sox have been searching for? (1:20)

Reed talks about why he feels relieved and reborn getting this opportunity with the White Sox (8:05), what's prevented him from being the major league player he wants to be (9:15), why the Astros gave up on him (14:00) and more.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

 

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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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