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White Sox’ Lopez, Rodon pitch in 7-4 loss to Reds, weigh in on No. 5 starter competition

Reynaldo Lopez and Carlos Rodon are pulling for each other, according to Rodon.

Chicago White Sox v Milwaukee Brewers
Rodon called it a “friendly” competition with Lopez.
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

REDS 7, WHITE SOX 4

He’s pacing himself

In a competition with Carlos Rodon for the fifth starter spot, Reynaldo Lopez probably didn’t want to get tagged for third-inning homers by Nick Castellanos and Mike Moustakas in his third and final inning. In all, the Reds got him for six hits and five runs, all earned.

But it’s still early in spring, and Lopez was working on making adjustments on his off-speed stuff.

“I think it went well,” he said. “Just a couple mistakes, but I felt good with all my pitches.”

Is it hard to pace himself through a slow process when he’s in a fight for a key role?

“This game is about competition,” he said through translator Billy Russo. “I like to compete, and I’m all for the competition.”

Rodon’s debut

The lefty followed Lopez to the hill and went two pretty easy, uneventful frames.

“Felt good,” he said. “Felt strong.”

But on to the competition with Lopez, who is Rodon’s throwing partner, a friend and a “brother.”

“I’m always pulling for him, and I know he’s always pulling for me,” Rodon said. “So that thing will take care of itself and it is what it is.”

But let’s not stop now

Manager Tony La Russa’s take on Lopez vs. Rodon? (Or is it Rodon vs. Lopez?)

“You can’t phony up the competition,” he said. “If you try to, players see through it. This is a legitimate competition. Each guy knows it.”

That’s a long way

Eloy Jimenez hit a massive homer that drew “oohs” as soon as he connected and smacked high off the scoreboard in left. Estimated distance: halfway to Guaranteed Rate Field.

On deck

Sox at Rangers, 2:05 p.m. Friday, Surprise, Lucas Giolito vs. Jordan Lyles.