Reynaldo Lopez is gaining confidence with every start he makes for the White Sox.
“Every time you’re able to go out there and pitch, you are gaining experience,” he said through an interpreter Friday night after the Sox’ 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. “Then you know how to make better pitches, how to execute your plan, and how to have success.”
The 23-year-old fared well in his return from the 10-day disabled list because of a back strain. He struck out a season-high seven batters in six innings. Sox manager Rick Renteria pulled him after 85 pitches as a precaution following a two-week absence.
“I felt strong,” Lopez said. “I felt like I could have kept pitching, but I also have to understand that I just came from a DL stint and they want to protect me. You, as a player, have to understand that, and I was OK.”
The Sox (52-81) had an opportunity to come back when they loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh. But Tim Anderson hit a hard line drive directly to Rays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to end the inning.
Lopez (0-2) could make another handful of starts in September if he stays healthy. He has pitched 137„ innings this season (121 in the minors, 16„ in the majors), and the Sox have no plans to shut down any of their young pitchers unless they show signs of fatigue.
In addition to reinstating Lopez from the DL, the Sox promoted Carson Fulmer and David Holmberg before the game. Fulmer is one of several pitchers, including Derek Holland, Mike Pelfrey and Dylan Covey, who could contend for starts at the back end of the rotation in the final month.
Utilityman Leury Garcia exited the game in the fifth inning because of an injured right thumb. His status is day-to-day.
No way, Jose
First baseman Jose Abreu insisted he was healthy enough to return from an injured right elbow, but Renteria decided to rest him for a second consecutive day. When Abreu objected, Renteria held his ground.
“I had to put my foot down on this one, for sure,” Renteria said with a smile. “I send out the lineup to the guys before they get to the ballpark, so they know who’s playing. He went to the trainer already. [Herm Schneider] gave me a call and said, ‘He wants to play.’ He came in and voiced his opinion, and I voiced mine.”
Renteria said he didn’t want to risk the injury bothering Abreu for the rest of the season.
General manager Rick Hahn praised right-hander Miguel Gonzalez for his time in Chicago one day after he was traded to the Texas Rangers in exchange for minor-league infielder Edward Ti’Quan Forbes. Forbes, 21, hit .234 with 11 home runs and 45 RBI in 130 games with a pair of Class A teams this season. The Rangers drafted him in the second round in 2014.
“Ultimately, we were able to get an interesting prospect back with some upside,” Hahn said.
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