Reynaldo Lopez’s start against the Milwaukee Brewers at Camelback Ranch got off to a shaky start.
The right-hander walked leadoff hitter Christian Yelich on four pitches and allowed a single to the next batter, Lorenzo Cain. Things weren’t looking great. But Lopez is used to putting himself in some difficult situations; he posted a 1.32 WHIP last year with the Chicago White Sox, after all.
However, Lopez induced two pop outs and a strikeout after Cain’s single, getting out of the inning unscathed.
He went on to finish his start without giving up a run, but walked three and allowed one hit in three innings of work, earning a no-decision in the Chicago White Sox’s 6-4 win on Tuesday.
Lopez didn’t have great control of any of his pitches but induced soft contact when he got them over the plate, with his fastball sitting at 95-96 mph and touching 98.
The Brewers struck first in the fourth inning, after Travis Shaw took Juan Minaya deep for a solo shot.
But Milwaukee shortstop Orlando Arcia’s throwing error opened the door for the White Sox to strike back quickly in the bottom half. And they did.
Avisail Garcia laced a one-out RBI double to left to tie the game at one. Garcia is hitting .333 on the spring and has not shown any signs of regressing from last season’s success.
Welington Castillo then drove in two with single up the middle to give the Sox a 3-1 lead. Castillo hit .308 with 30 RBIs with men in scoring position last season with the Baltimore Orioles.
The Brewers got a run back in the sixth with another Shaw home run, and picked up another single in the seventh tie the game, 3-3.
What Beertown didn’t know was that it was Tyler Saladino time: The wannabe superutilityman continued his torrid spring, launching a sky-high solo shot to left to snatch the lead right back. Saladino is hitting .421 this spring, after battling injuries and hitting just .178 in 253 at-bats in 2017.
In the eighth, Garcia got his hands in nice and drove an RBI double to right-center field for his second two-bagger of the day. Miracle DH Micker Adolfo followed, lacing a line shot RBI double over left fielder Kyle Wren’s head.
Dane Dunning earned the win by working 2 ⅓ innings of one-hit, one-run ball. He nearly finished the game after entering in the seventh, utilizing a nasty slider he threw consistently for strikes. Brian Clark came in for a delicious, one-pitch save, ending the game himself on a Baltimore Chop-comebacker from Nick Franklin.
Overall, the South Siders looked good today. Lopez needs to limit his walks if he wants to see the seventh inning this year. If he does, he’s a star in the making, because arguably he has the best stuff on the pitching staff.