Reynaldo Lopez made his long-awaited 2017 debut tonight, and he did not disappoint.
He didn’t get the victory, either, but his strong six innings put the Sox in position to win their fourth straight game. They also handed the Royals their fourth straight loss, knocking them below .500.
Mike Moustakas aside, Lopez pitched well. That said, Moustakas touched him up for two solo shots — the first on a rolling curve, and the second on a hanging changeup. The latter tied the game at 2 in the sixth inning, but Lopez could still call his outing a success. He held the Royals to just two other hits and three walks while striking out six, and threw 68 of 102 pitches for strikes.
As it stands, Aaron Bummer ended up getting his first MLB win. He pitched a scoreless seventh, after which the White Sox offense exploded for four runs off Danny Duffy and Peter Moylan to put the game away.
It’s always fun to see the White Sox use team speed against Kansas City, which tormented the Sox with their own running game over the years. In this case, Leury Garcia led off with a single through the left side, and Adam Engel chased him home with his second triple of the game. Yolmer Sanchez followed with a safety squeeze that was just good enough for Engel to score with a dive.
Sanchez took second on a passed ball and third on a groundout, after which Duffy exited for the sidewinding Moylan. Anderson wasn’t fazed, as he opened up on a hanging inner-half slider and socked a no-doubt dinger to left to make it a 6-2 game.
Bummer came back out and threw a scoreless eighth, and Juan Minaya and Tyler Clippard made a tiny mess of the ninth, but avoided bringing the tying run to the plate.
Duffy is now 0-3 against the White Sox this season, and this outing, in which he allowed five runs over 6 1⁄3 innings, qualifies as his most successful start against the South Siders in 2017. The Sox posted a couple quick runs against him by running 270 feet at a time. Anderson scored from first on a Kevan Smith double in the first, and Engel tripled with one out in the second and came home on a Sanchez groundout. Engel became the first Sox to triple twice in a game since Alejandro De Aza in 2011.
Duffy settled down afterward and got through six with efficiency, but he hit a wall in the seventh.
Lopez issued a walk in each of his first three innings, but he didn’t allow a hit until Moustakas won a seven-pitch battle in the fourth, which spoiled the no-hit bid and shutout with 17 outs remaining. That temporarily threw Lopez off his game, as he allowed first-pitch singles to Cheslor Cuthbert and Alcides Escobar, but came back to strand them.
Looking at it another way, Lopez gave up three of his four hits over the span of three pitches, and just one over the other 99.
Record: 45-68 | Box score