Seeking a stable start on Saturday before a likely bullpen game to close their weekend series against the visiting Detroit Tigers, the Chicago White Sox will turn to inconsistent right-hander Reynaldo Lopez at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The White Sox (28-16) recalled Lopez (0-2, 8.38 ERA) from their alternate training site at Schaumburg to start in place of injured left-hander Dallas Keuchel (back spasms). Lopez worked just 1 2/3 innings in his most recent start Sept. 2 at Minnesota, allowing three runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
“The whole thought when we first sent him out (to Schaumburg) was that we wanted him to work on his rhythm and timing,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He’s continuing to improve. The reports have been good.”
In addition to establishing consistency, staying healthy is a key for Lopez. He left in the first inning of his first start July 26 with soreness in his pitching shoulder and has allowed 14 hits with eight walks and nine strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings this season.
Lopez hasn’t pitched more than four innings in any of his four starts.
“Hopefully it’s an efficient outing for him, whatever it is that he gives us,” Renteria said.
Three relievers combined on 3 1/3 innings of one-hit ball Friday to help the White Sox hold on for a 4-3 victory in the series opener as Chicago remained in first place in the American League Central. Righty Lucas Giolito allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings and has pitched six innings or fewer in each of his three starts since no-hitting the Pittsburgh Pirates on Aug. 25.
Eloy Jimenez collected two of Chicago’s three hits, including a go-ahead, three-run home run in the sixth inning. Jimenez has recorded an extra-base hit in four consecutive games.
The Tigers (20-24) fell to four games out of the final playoff spot in the American League after the New York Yankees swept the Baltimore Orioles in a doubleheader Friday.
Detroit rookie right fielder Daz Cameron smacked a two-run single Friday for his first career hit. Cameron had been hitless in his first three major league games and enters Saturday 1-for-12 with two RBIs, one walk and four strikeouts in his career.
Cameron hit 13 home runs with 43 RBIs in Triple-A last season and has a .247 average with 37 home runs and 215 RBIs in five seasons in the minors.
Right-hander Michael Fulmer (0-1, 8.24) will get the start for Detroit, which has lost eight of its last 11. Fulmer pitched a season-low 2 1/3 innings at Minnesota on Monday.
Fulmer is 2-1 with a 2.98 ERA in nine career starts against the White Sox with 35 strikeouts in 51 1/3 innings. Facing the White Sox in Detroit on Aug. 10, he took a no-decision after pitching three scoreless innings of three-hit ball with one walk and two strikeouts.
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu will look to start a new hitting streak Saturday after his career-best 22-game streak was snapped Friday.
–Field Level Media