KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The White Sox’ rebuild would like to thank Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito for their back-to-back starts Sunday and Monday, a much-needed ointment after a tough weekend for their future rotation.
After Michael Kopech went down Friday and Carlos Rodon had a second consecutive subpar outing on the same night, Lopez with six strong innings Sunday against the Angels and Giolito with seven good ones in the Sox’ 4-3 loss in 10 innings to the Royals were welcome sights.
A not-so-pretty sight, though, was Sox reliever Jeanmar Gomez picking up Alcides Escobar’s bunt with no outs in the 10th and attempting to throw out Brian Goodwin at third.
He flipped a weak toss over to third baseman Yolmer Sanchez, allowing Goodwin to score the winning run. Goodwin had doubled to lead off the inning.
“He just got a little flustered, a little excited and didn’t make a very good throw,’’ manager Rick Renteria said.
The Sox lost their sixth consecutive game, including four in a row since it was announced that Kopech, their top pitching prospect, needs Tommy John surgery.
Giolito gave up a homer to Whit Merrifield on his first pitch and served up another to Ryan O’Hearn, a game-tying shot in the sixth, but otherwise was good in bouncing back from a disaster in his previous outing against the Tigers in which he failed to finish the second inning.
Against the Royals, Giolito’s sinker helped him get 12 groundouts. He struck out three, walked two and allowed three runs and six hits.
Daniel Palka belted a two-run homer and Adam Engel hit one over the center-field wall against Royals right-hander Jakob Junis.
The Sox (56-88) need to win seven of their last 18 to avoid the fourth 100-loss season in franchise history.
Palka tied Jose Abreu for the team lead in homers with his 22nd, hooking one inside the right-field foul pole with Abreu on base in the third inning.
He also tied Pete Ward, who hit 22 in 1963, for the most homers by a left-handed-hitting Sox rookie.
Covey for Kopech
Right-hander Dylan Covey, 4-10 with a 5.98 ERA in 17 starts, is back in the rotation starting Tuesday, Renteria said.
The Sox needed a new starter to replace Kopech.
Covey has been pitching out of the bullpen, and Renteria said the Sox are “trying to discover” where he fits best. In six relief appearances, he’s 1-2 with a 2.25 ERA.
Any day now for Jones
Right-hander Nate Jones, out since June 12 with a pronator strain, likely will return on this trip and possibly in the next day or two. He threw a scoreless inning for Class A Winston-Salem on Wednesday and live batting practice Saturday to Abreu.
“He was nasty,” Abreu said.