MINNEAPOLIS — There’s no in between for White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez. He’s either very good or very bad.
In the Sox’ 11-4 loss to the American League Central-leading Twins on Friday at Target Field, Lopez was the latter, lasting a season-low 3⅔ innings and leaving with a 6.03 ERA.
With the Sox coming off a pair of wins, including a complete-game shutout from Lucas Giolito, Lopez failed to protect a 4-1 lead in the second inning.
“Hard,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Their contact was hard today. A lot of hard contact across the board.”
Lopez allowed eight earned runs and seven hits, including three home runs (Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano and Max Kepler).
Lopez (3-5) entered with a 5.14 ERA in his last seven starts, but his ERA is inflated by 21 earned runs allowed in his first three starts.
The major-league-best Twins (34-16), joined the 1999 Mariners as the only teams to hit 100 home runs in their first 50 games. They have 101 for the season.
“It was just a bad day,” Lopez said. “I left a few pitches up in the zone. I wasn’t commanding my pitches, and when you are not able to command your pitches, they’re going to hit you, they’re going to hit homers and they’re going to do damage on your mistakes.”
A throwing error by Jorge Polonco on Eloy Jimenez’s ground ball to lead off the fourth inning set up a four-run rally. Tim Anderson, who had three hits to raise his average to .337, doubled and scored on Yonder Alonso’s two-run single through the shift against right-hander Jose Berrios (7-2, 3.20). Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu added RBI singles.
The Twins then went to work on Lopez and tacked on two runs against Ryan Burr to make it 10-4 after five innings. Berrios (four runs allowed, one earned, and nine hits) settled in after the second, pitching 6⅔ innings.
Relief doesn’t interest Rodon
Left-hander Carlos Rodon wanted to get something off his chest.
When he gets back from Tommy John surgery, probably during the second half of next season, the Sox’ 2018 Opening Day starter doesn’t want to pitch in relief.
“One hundred percent,” Rodon said. “That’s who I am. I’m a starter. I’m a horse. I’ll eat the innings. That’s my job. Not the bullpen. Let’s put that all out there. I’m a starter.”
Rodon, who had elbow surgery last week, joined the team in Minneapolis.
This and that
Right-hander Thyago Vieira, who pitched two scoreless innings, was optioned to Class AAA Charlotte after the game. His roster spot will be taken by Manny Banuelos, who will come off the injured list to start Saturday, Renteria said.
• Catcher Welington Castillo left the game in the eighth inning after taking a foul tip that broke his mask. But he’s OK, Renteria said.
• Yoan Moncada singled twice for his eighth multihit game.