PHOENIX — White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez recorded his second consecutive excellent Cactus League start, blanking the host Brewers through 4 1/3 innings while striking out four in the White Sox’ 4-3 win Friday.
Lopez gave up one hit and one walk. In his previous start against the Diamondbacks on Sunday, Lopez allowed a run in three innings and struck out three batters including two-time National League MVP runner-up Paul Goldschmidt twice.
Two straight strong outings “means we’re getting ready for the season and we’re improving,” Lopez said.
The Sox acquired Lopez, right-hander Lucas Giolito and right-hander Dane Dunning in the December trade with the Nationals for Adam Eaton. He is their third-ranked prospect behind Yoan Moncada and Giolito, according to Baseball America.
“I was working on my changeup,” Lopez said. “I threw changeups and I was trying to also stay tall in my mechanics, because sometimes I get too low and I lose command of my pitches. That was one of the points that I worked today. And also just to throw strikes and to hit the target. Those were my main goals.”
In the first inning, Lopez struck out leadoff man Lewis Brinson and Ryan Braun. The only hit he allowed was a single to Manny Pina. Lopez averaged 91-94 mph and touched 96 mph on the Sox’ radar gun.
Lopez seems to have hit it off with pitching coach Don Cooper during his first White Sox camp.
“I’ve learned a lot,” he said. “I like this team, I like the people who work here. My relationship with Coop, it’s a great relationship. We have very honest conversations and very good ones. He’s one of those guys who likes to give his point of view but he also likes that you give him your point of view, and that [helps] our relationship in that particular way.”
Moncada plays the hero
Second baseman Yoan Moncada, the centerpiece of the Sox’ other major December trade for prospects, had two hits including a two-run double off the center field wall against right-hander Aaron Wilkerson in the ninth inning to give the Sox a 4-3 victory. Moncada also committed his fourth error, on a ground ball. Before Friday, Moncada hadn’t distinguished himself at the plate. His pair of hits hiked his average to .217.
Avisail Garcia stayed hot with two singles and a stolen base, raising his average to .462. Jose Abreu (.250) drove in the first two runs with a two-out single in the third.
Catcher Alfredo Gonzalez picked Max McDowell off first base to end the game.
White Sox at Rangers in Surprise, 2:05, Dylan Covey vs. A.J. Griffin.