Lopez says he’s ready for season after White Sox’ loss

SHARE Lopez says he’s ready for season after White Sox’ loss
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Reynaldo Lopez throws a pitch against the San Diego Padres during the first inning Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Reynaldo Lopez, who is slated to start the White Sox’ third game of the season in Kansas City against the Royals, almost went off the rails when he walked three straight Padres in the Sox’ 4-3 Cactus League loss Wednesday. But Lopez escaped, did not walk another and finished with five innings of three-run ball.

“I was kind of angry with myself, but I didn’t lose control of the inning,’’ Lopez said.

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Lopez’s second-best pitch behind his fastball is his changeup, but his mission is to elevate his curve to No. 2 status in his arsenal. That was a big part of his focus against the Padres.

“I’ve got one more [start], but today’s outing was one I needed,’’ said Lopez, who gave up a two-run homer to Eric Hosmer in the fifth. “Now I feel ready for the season.’’

No minor accomplishment

The Sox’ lineup featured three or four starters with a chance to make the opening-day lineup, with many minor-league extras filling in. One was minor-league Rule 5 catcher Yermin Mercedes, who homered. Another was infielder Mikey Duarte, who led off the ninth with a double in his first Cactus League game but did not score. It was an emotional moment for Duarte, whose sister was killed in the Las Vegas mass-shooting massacre Oct. 1.

More power to you

Matt Skole hit his second homer of the spring. Skole has eight RBI.

An eye on the bullpen

Left-hander Aaron Bummer pitched a scoreless inning, and right-hander Juan Minaya was extended to two, giving up a homer but retiring every other hitter he faced. Both were used rather prominently in the second half of 2017 and are trying to nail down spots in an opening-day bullpen competition tightened by notable performances from non-roster invitees such as Robbie Ross Jr., Xavier Cedeno, Rob Scahill (one scoreless inning Wednesday), Bruce Rondon and Chris Volstad.

On deck

Sox at Diamondbacks, Scottsdale, Miguel Gonzalez vs. Taijuan Walker, 8:40 p.m. Thursday.

Upcoming starters: James Shields on Friday vs. Mariners in Glendale, Carson Fulmer on Saturday vs. Dodgers in Glendale.

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