White Sox lose again, but Reynaldo Lopez bounces back from Friday debacle

Also, the Rays honored their longtime radio voice and former Sox broadcaster Dave Wills before the game.

SHARE White Sox lose again, but Reynaldo Lopez bounces back from Friday debacle
Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals - Game Two

Reynaldo Lopez came back strong for the White Sox after a rough Friday night.

Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — White Sox reliever Reynaldo Lopez wanted back into the fray in the worst way Saturday, one day after he blew his second save of the season in an 8-7 walk-off win for the Rays.

“Oh, 100%,” Lopez said before Game 2 of the series. “Hopefully, it can be the same situation, and then we’ll see what happens.”

Lopez didn’t quite get his wish — nor did the Sox, who lost 4-3 in 10 innings — but he did get the ball again for the ninth inning, this time with the score 3-3. That’s still plenty high in the leverage department, and Lopez came through, jamming lefty Josh Lowe with a 3-2 fastball for a soft liner to third, getting Manuel Margot to ground out and blowing away Francisco Mejia with a 100.6 mph heater.

It was the kind of bounce-back performance Lopez struggled to find earlier in his Sox career, but he said the ability to shake off a bad outing is ingrained in him now — and he credits that largely to the influence closer Liam Hendriks had on him all last season, which was a very good one for Lopez out of the pen.

With Hendriks not going to be ready to pitch for the Sox for at least the next several weeks, Lopez is manager Pedro Grifol’s finisher. At least he’d better be, considering Grifol already has referred to Lopez as “one of the best pitchers in the game” twice in this series. If that’s a reach, so be it.

“He’s a very quick learner,” Grifol said.

Wills remembered

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Darrin Jackson honors Dave Wills.

Steve Greenberg | Chicago Sun-Times

Before the game, the Rays honored the life of longtime radio announcer Dave Wills, who died March 5 in his sleep at age 58. Wills, a Chicago native, had a stellar 18-season run as the play-by-play voice of the Rays after nearly a decade spent with the Sox’ radio broadcast team as a pregame and postgame host.

The Rays wore “Dave” T-shirts during warmups, are wearing a memorial patch on their batting helmets all season and have set up a broadcasting scholarship in Wills’ honor. Wills’ wife, Liz, threw out the first pitch.

Sox radio analyst Darrin Jackson had a “Dave” tee on, too. Jackson was in the Sox’ TV booth when Wills was on the radio side, but they were pals.

“Just a wonderful guy,” Jackson said. “Friendly, a lot of fun and he told it like it is — true Chicago.”

Beamed up: Piscotty

The Sox signed veteran outfielder Stephen Piscotty, 32, to a minor-league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Charlotte. A former first-round draft pick, Piscotty spent parts of eight big-league seasons with the Cardinals and A’s — topping 20 home runs and 80 RBI once with each team — and has a career .256 average with 93 homers and 354 RBI in 726 games.

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