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White Sox send right-hander Reynaldo Lopez to Schaumburg, recall lefty Bernardo Flores

Reynaldo Lopez was being counted on as the Sox’ No. 3 starter in the rotation this season but is 0-2 with an 8.38 ERA over four starts.

Reynaldo Lopez of the White Sox is pulled from the game against the Twins during the second inning of the game at Target Field on September 2, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

The White Sox optioned struggling right-hander Reynaldo Lopez to their Schaumburg training facility Thursday and recalled left-hander Bernardo Flores Jr.

Lopez, 26, was being counted on as the Sox’ No. 3 starter and a key to the team’s success, but he’s out of the rotation with an 0-2 record and 8.38 ERA in four starts. He lasted only 1⅔ innings Wednesday night in the Sox’ 8-1 loss to the Twins and hasn’t pitched more than four innings in four starts.

With their last two days off of the season coming up Monday and next Thursday, a fifth starter won’t be needed for two weeks. If Lopez comes back, pitching out of the bullpen hasn’t been ruled out.

“I think all options are on the table,” manager Rick Renteria said. “We need to have him able to help us. He’s got a good arm.”

Lopez was the Sox’ best starter in 2018, when he had a 3.91 ERA in 32 starts, but regressed to a 5.38 ERA in 33 starts last season. A sore shoulder landed him on the injured list this season after his first start against the Twins in which he did not finish the first inning.

“We’ll see if we can get him back on track,” Renteria said.

Veteran left-hander Gio Gonzalez, who has made four starts but is on the injured list with a groin strain, is throwing at the training facility in Schaumburg and would be eligible to return Sunday.

Sox history buff

Flores, 24, allowed two runs in his major-league debut Thursday, pitching the eighth inning, though he was a starter in the minors. He was 27-26 with a 3.18 ERA in four seasons in the Sox’ system.

He is more well-versed in Sox history than most players and owns his share of Sox garb, including a 1990s Starter jacket and Disco Demolition Night T-shirt, which he brought along to Kansas City.

Flores was with the Sox as the 29th man for a doubleheader on Aug. 15 against the Cardinals but did not pitch.

“A call-up to the major leagues is something I’ve been dreaming about since I was a very young kid,” he said.

Anderson is Sox’ Clemente Award nominee

For a second consecutive year, shortstop Tim Anderson is the Sox’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, given to the player that best represents baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, on and off the field.

Anderson, who singled, walked with the bases full and hit his seventh homer in his first three plate appearances Thursday, is attempting to become the first Sox player to lead the American League in batting average in back-to-back seasons.

He was second in the AL at .333 through Wednesday behind Franmil Reyes (.335) and was batting .500 against lefties after the home run.

This and that

First baseman Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to 18 games.

† Infielder Ryan Goins cleared waivers and was outrighted to Schaumburg and added to the taxi squad.

Right-hander Drew Anderson was released.