After a trying year, it was great to see Reynaldo López end on a strong note in Saturday’s doubleheader opener. López pitched eight strong innings of five-hit, one-run ball, striking out nine in a 7-1 White Sox win over the Tigers.
Aside from a solo shot surrendered to Miguel Cabrera, the third batter of the game, López was butter. The righthander recorded strikeouts in every frame of his game but the fourth, hitting 97 mph with his fastball.
The White Sox, still down 1-0 in the second inning, were aided by a bizarre baserunning decision from John Hicks, who was gunned down by some 70 feet on a soft, two-out single from Grayson Greiner:
To be fair to Hicks, it’s not as if he ran through a stop sign from David Earl Clark. But don’t blame Clark, because it’s clear 999 of 1,000 major league runners, with the play right in front of them, wouldn’t need a stop sign to know to stop there. Yoán Moncada might have been able to run Hicks down from third base!
There were some milestone homers for the White Sox in this one. In the sixth, Danny Mendick clocked his career second on his 26th birthday, and it wasn’t a cheapie:
The next inning Eloy Jiménez, back after a few days of illness, rattled his 31st homer off the fair pole, putting the White Sox up by the final of 7-1.
But really, the day belonged to López. Class move from Joe McEwing, pulling López at the start of the ninth after the righty had taken the mound, so López could depart to a well-deserved ovation. What a nice finish from a key piece of the rebuild.
The nightcap is going on now, over on WGN, but you know that already. I’ll be back at you with a nightcap recap!