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Indians 5, White Sox 1: No help for Reynaldo Lopez

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Rookie pitches over mistakes in field, but he couldn’t help them against Carlos Carrasco

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox didn’t give Reynaldo Lopez their best effort on either side of the ball.

On offense, they needed a two-out, ninth-inning homer by Adam Engel to avoid a Maddux (Carlos Carrasco still went the distance on 97 pitches). On defense, they committed four miscues, but only one was charged as an error.

Somehow, Lopez endured it all to post his best start as a White Sox pitcher, even if the Sox lost and the Indians won their 14th consecutive game. His official line:

6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

With a scorer who wasn’t so generous to the home team’s defense, it’d look like:

6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

The inventory of the jams is as follows:

First inning: Faced second and third with one out after Matt Davidson matadored a bouncer to first. He was trying to position himself for a 3-6-3 double play but forgot the step before that. He escaped the jam by getting Edwin Encarnacion to pop out and Carlos Santana to fly out.

Second inning: Faced runners on second and third with one out after Tyler Saladino kicked a grounder up the middle that could’ve been a double play, but was ruled a double for some reason instead. Lopez stranded the runners with a strikeout and a popout.

Fourth inning: Faced the bases loaded and nobody out after two singles and a walk. The first supposed single glanced off the glove of a diving Nicky Delmonico (pictured above) on an effort that was ugly from read to route, and the second went through Alen Hanson at second. A sac fly with the sacks packed ended up leading to an “earned,” but Lopez minimized the damage with a strikeout and a flyout.

Lopez had to record anywhere from three to five extra outs over those five innings. The pitches piled up, and the Indians started making firmer contact in the fifth. I would’ve understood if Rick Renteria pulled Lopez after 95 pitches, but Lopez came out for the sixth and mercifully retired the side in order on seven pitches.

He still dropped to 0-3 on the season because Carrasco handcuffed the Sox. He took a perfect game bid into the fifth, which ended with an Avisail Garcia single through the middle. Kevan Smith added a second hit in the sixth, but both were erased by double plays, meaning Carrasco had a chance to face the minimum. Hell, he didn’t even get into a three-ball count until winning a battle with Smith to start the ninth.

Then he threw a first-pitch outer-half fastball to Engel, who drove it just over the wall in right center to ruin the 27-batter Maddux.

That’s about all that run accomplished, because the White Sox bullpen blew up in the eighth. Gregory Infante started the inning with a walk after a checked swing went Encarnacion’s way. Danny Farquhar relieved him and gave up a third-pitch homer to Santana to make it a 3-0 game, and another run crossed the plate after a walk, single, walk, and Davidson’s second error (he again didn’t look the ball into his glove while intending to make a throw).

And to cap off the disastrous effort on defense, Jose Ramirez scored the fifth Cleveland run on a fielder’s choice from second base. Saladino’s attempt to turn to pulled Davidson off the bag in the direction of the outfield, and Ramirez was able to dive in ahead of Davidson’s throw home.

Somehow, Delmonico robbed a homer.

Record: 54-84 | Box score