You might say Reynaldo López is back. You might also say that this Reynaldo López is new to the party.
I’d say López was the best possible version of himself this afternoon, bullying the Tigers with his fastball en route to 14 strikeouts over six innings. He had command when he wanted it, he had life when didn’t have command, and the slider and changeup were just effective enough to make the heat play up.
Thirteen of his 14 strikeouts came courtesy of his four-seamer, which were distributed evenly over his six innings. He struck out the side in the second and sixth, and two in all the other frames.
If there was one quibble, his control started to loosen up on him in the later innings, especially as his pitch count approached 100. He walked the leadoff batter in the fifth, but it was erased by Welington Castillo on an inning-ending SHOTHO. He issued another leadoff walk in the sixth, along with a two-out walk later in the inning.
Up came Brandon Dixon, and out came Don Cooper, perhaps letting López know he could air it out. López and Dixon locked horns, and as he was about to throw his seventh pitch, Dixon was granted a late time. López spun off the mound without throwing the ball as the crowd booed, but the reset didn’t hurt him. His 105th fastball sizzled past Dixon’s bat for the 14th strikeout and the end of the inning.
López only gave up two hits, one of them an RBI single after a Tim Anderson error allowed Ronny Rodriguez to reach with one out. Rodriguez stole second and scored on Grayson Greiner’s knock through the right side, but Rodriguez was cut down by Castillo when he tried the same thing later.
Castillo was the game’s second star, not only for catching a franchise-record 20 strikeouts (Jace Fry, Kelvin Herrera and Alex Colomé all struck out two), but for driving in the only two runs Sox pitchers needed. WIth the bases loaded and two outs, Castillo sliced a 1-2 fastball down the right field line for a two-run double that gave the Sox a rare 2-0 first-inning lead.
The Sox made Matthew Boyd work early, and they didn’t quite take advantage of it. He shook off the early struggles to throw five scoreless innings after, recording nine strikeouts of his own.
However, when the bullpen came in, the White Sox offense found a way to add insurance. Leury García succeeded on a squeeze bunt after two singles put runners on the corners in the seventh. An inning later, Yolmer Sánchez came up with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to make it a 4-1 game.
*Jose Rondón played left field as the Sox get used to life without Eloy Jiménez. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout before Adam Engel replaced him defensively, but López’s day means he wasn’t tested.
*The White Sox swept their first series of any length at home since Aug. 8-10, 2017, against the Houston Astros.
*Gordon Beckham played his 1,000th game and sported a golden sombrero at the end of it.
*Rick Renteria was ejected in the third inning by Tony Randazzo after Jose Abreu was called out for running inside the baseline on a strike three that got away. The replay showed that Abreu was indeed plunked on the fair side of first base, although it’s the second time in as many games that Abreu’s been out on a baserunning play you seldom see. Unlike Friday night, this one was worth trying.
Record: 11-14 | Box score