Chicago White Sox's Lopez burned by longball in loss vs. Royals

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Reynaldo Lopez delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Chicago.

    Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Reynaldo Lopez delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Chicago.

 
 
Updated 9/11/2019 11:22 PM

Reynaldo Lopez has been much better than he was in the first half of the season, when he was 4-8 with a 6.34 ERA.

The Chicago White Sox's right-hander was 5-4 with a 3.38 ERA after the all-star break heading into Wednesday night's start against the Royals, and Lopez threw a 1-hitter in a brilliant complete game effort his last time out, at Cleveland on Sept. 5.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"At the end of the day his stuff is really, really good," manager Rick Renteria said. "If he executes he has a chance to do really well. Do we scratch our heads sometimes? Absolutely."

Lopez didn't have it in the Sox's 8-6 loss against Kansas City at Guaranteed Rate Field, giving up 6 runs on 9 hits and 1 walk in 4⅔ innings. All of the Royals' runs off Lopez came on homers, 2-run shots from Jorge Soler and Adalberto Mondesi followed by Bubba Starling's solo home run.

"I felt good," Lopez said through a translator. "I felt strong and I think that backfired. I felt stronger than usual and I tried to do too much. I wasn't able to execute."

Lopez has been keeping the ball in the park for much of the second half, but the right-hander has now given up 31 home runs on the season.

"The theme is probably center cut," Renteria said. "He had good stuff but wasn't locating at all. He was out and over the center of the plate."

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Eloy Jimenez carried the Sox's offense with a 3-run homer in the first inning and an RBI groundout in the sixth. Jose Abreu hit a 2-run homer in the eighth, increasing his American League leading RBI total to 114.

Coaching changes?

The White Sox usually wait until the end of the season to make coaching switches, but Rick Renteria is expected to return in 2020, and he believes his staff also will be back.

"We haven't had our conversations about anything moving forward, but I believe we will," said Renteria, who is signed through at least next season. "If there is any change coming, you will all know what happens, if it happens. But all our guys do a great job."

Road to recovery:

After retreating to the clubhouse Tuesday in his first game back after returning from rotator-cuff surgery, manager Rick Renteria made it through Wednesday night's game against the Royals.

Renteria was feeling well enough to come out of the dugout and argue with home-plate umpire Dan Bellino, who ejected James McCann for arguing balls and strikes from the bench.

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