Lopez clears hurdle in White Sox's 5-2 loss to Blue Jays
The final result Sunday afternoon wasn't what the White Sox wanted -- a 5-2 loss to rookie slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Blue Jays at Guaranteed Rate Field.
But before Guerrero snapped a 1-1 tie with a 2-run homer off reliever Kelvin Herrera in the eighth inning, Reynaldo Lopez cleared an important hurdle that often trips up developing starting pitchers.
Struggling with his command throughout the game, Lopez found himself in hot water during the fourth inning.
A Guerrero leadoff single and walks to Justin Smoak and Freddy Galvis loaded the bases and brought Billy McKinney to the plate with two outs.
Lopez fell behind 3-0 to Toronto's left fielder, but he kept his composure and came back to strike out McKinney.
"A key moment of the game," Lopez said through a translator.
Being able to work out of jams is a must for front-line starters, and Lucas Giolito has figured out how to successfully pitch through traffic this season.
Lopez followed suit against the Jays in the 38-pitch fourth inning.
"It's good for them," catcher Welington Castillo said of Lopez and Giolito. "It's going to be really good for them in the long run. They're young. It will help them in the long run because they can get through the next time their stuff is not there. They can battle and they can fight."
For the game, Lopez went 6 innings and allowed 1 run on 4 hits. Over his last two starts, the right-hander has given up 2 earned runs on 6 hits in 13⅔ innings.
"You learn a lot on days like today when you don't have your stuff because you need to find ways to get through your outing," Lopez said. "I learned that last year and I've been learning that when I watch other pitchers go through those moments. That's something that helps you in your development process because it's going to make you better."
Jose Abreu had both of the Sox's RBI.
In the fourth inning, Yoan Moncada led off with a triple against Blue Jays starter Trent Thornton and scored on Abreu's groundout.
In the eighth, Abreu's double scored Charlie Tilson.